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Monday, June 19, 2017

Scholars Capstone Spotlight: School to Prison Pipeline

For her Senior Capstone Research Project, recent Scholars Academy for Business and Law graduate Lynnise Brown investigated the school to prison pipeline. She found that black students are three times more likely to be suspended or expelled than white students, some suspensions beginning as early as pre-k. This pattern is also reflected in our criminal justice system as one in three black males will be imprisoned, making this demography 40% of the U.S. prison population. These same inmates are most likely the same ones that were reprimanded continuously through their pre-k to 12th grade school years. The goal of this project was to highlight a prejudiced juvenile and criminal justice system and to take steps in changing it in order to save students from the pipeline. For his project, Brown interviewed black male students who had been suspended or expelled, as they are more likely to be targeted. From their stories, I have found that racial profiling was involved in their disciplinary punishments and there had been a lack of educator compassion, especially for students of color. A recommendation of this study is more flexible disciplinary policies and for educators to attempt to be more understanding. To find out more information visit Brown's website by clicking on the image or following her @classroomtojail on Twitter. Brown plans to attend the University of South Carolina-Columbia in the fall.