The School-to-Prison Pipeline

An ongoing, updating article discussing the nuances of campus safety and regulation, especially that regarding officers and zero-tolerance policy

Let’s talk. If you aren’t ready, then get ready, because the STPP is a pretty pressing matter, and it has been for a while.

Zero-Tolerance Policies are a bit of a plague. They’re easy to write, catch on fast, and seem decent in theory. Equal Opportunity Discipline. Except, in practice, statistics have shown that minority students are disproportionately penalized by these policies, even when their white classmates are disciplined for the same or similar infractions. When it comes to minorities, they are more likely to be seen as breaking the rule, while white students are more likely to be forgiven, or seen as bending a policy.

Internalized racism and structural bias present their own issues, but what we’re here to discuss is the rise of the belief that schools are safer when they more closely resemble prisons. That means adding student resource officers, carrying more weapons, arming teachers has even been suggested. But where will that money come from? Underfunding of public education is already bad enough, and the kind of insurance schools would need to enact these sorts of safety changes would be astronomical.

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