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School to Prison Pipeline Solutions The school discipline programs are taking a wrong direction regardless of a drop in juvenile crime rates. In 2000, the Department of Education for Civil Rights realized that more students are being expelled or suspended from school. According to the department’s report, black students were most affected by the discipline policies compared to white students. Various youth advocates intervened to attract attention of politicians and Obama administration. A need to change the schools’ discipline policies was inevitable because more students were being suspended or expelled out of school. The youth advocates linked the current school discipline policies to the phrase “school to prison pipeline” because the policies were similar to juvenile detention. The older students in school are the same youth out there, and that is why they are likely to face criminal justice system whenever they cause trouble in school. Some of the common crimes committed in schools include fight, drug abuse, and personal injuries. The administrators were forcing students to face criminal justice system. In many occurrences, students were arrested from school and taken into detention chambers.
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The issue of keeping students out of school as a disciplinary action was not common in the 1970s. After disruptions increased in schools, adoption of expulsion and suspension was taken as an alternative punishment. For instance, bringing a weapon in school was a one year punishable crime. Adoption of the zero-tolerance policies led to increase in cases of expulsion and suspensions.
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However, administrators misinterpreted the weapon policy. Even talking about a weapon was a reason to expel or suspend a student out of school. Apart from the serious crimes that could warrant a suspension, many schools adopted their own zero-tolerance policies to discourage other more serious crimes. Even some minor disruptions such as talking back to a teacher could warrant a suspension punishment. After some time, schools started using police officers as school resource officers. However, those school resource officers turned to be security personnel against mass shooting incidents such as the one that happened in Columbine school in 1998. This has led to misuse of police service whereby they overuse resources that should be used in more serious and rare situations. Many students have been arrested and taken to detention chambers. Many arrests of students and prosecutions led to blackmailing of many youngsters. This meant a second punishment would be harsher for the same student. Obama administration opened legal investigations into the school discipline policies, and schools urged to establish new policies. Therefore, expulsion and suspension was to become a last resort punishment. Nowadays, various schools have established drug abuse prevention programs. The aim of the new programs is to create a stronger bond between students, teachers, and school administrators. Therefore, students that cause trouble in school can get guidance from teachers rather than being arrested by the school resource officers (SRO).