Black students are more than 3 times as likely to be suspended from school — and the Trump administration just made it easier for them to fall into the school-to-prison pipeline.
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John King: 'African American students are more than three times as likely to be suspended from school as white students.'
Pres. Trump & Betsy DeVos have rolled back Obama-era guidelines that warned schools not to punish minority students more than white kids. Former Sec. of Ed John King says that will make mass incarceration worse.
King: 'The school to prison pipeline describes what happens to far too many of our young people where they get in trouble in school and the consequences for getting in trouble in school ultimately result in them ending up incarcerated. This begins at the earliest ages. African-American students represent about 18 percent of the students and about 40 percent of the kids who are suspended from pre-K.
And when kids get suspended and they're put out of school, they fall behind academically, they're more likely to be retained in grade and more likely to drop out they're more likely to get in trouble with the law. And that’s a tragic loss for that kid, for their families, and ultimately for society as a whole. And once you're involved in the juvenile justice system you're very likely to get into more trouble. It's one of the reasons we have more than 2 million Americans who incarcerated today.
Think about the state that many pay hundred thousand dollars a year to keep someone incarcerated as opposed to spending 15 20 thousand dollars a year for a quality experiencing K through 12. So we should be investing in first chances quality K through 12 experiences quality access to higher education. But then we should invest in second chances. So when folks do make a mistake when they are incarcerated we ought to see that as an opportunity to give them the tools to be successful and they return to the community.
What we see from the Trump administration is a rollback of civil rights protections whether that's for LGBTQ young people for young people of color rollback of civil rights protections against sexual violence on campus. So we ought to be asking all of our superintendents and school board members what are the discipline rates in our community? How does the discipline for students of color compare to discipline rates for white students? What supports are in place in schools for kids who experience trauma, kids who are struggling with a social environment?
We ought to be asking how are we investing in young people to make sure that they don't end up in the criminal justice system and we ought to be asking about the criminal justice system what are we doing to ensure that those folks who are incarcerated have a meaningful Second Chance meaningful access to educational opportunities so they can succeed when they return to the community.'
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