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The Power of Now
Thursday, December 13, 2012
At a U.S. Senate hearing Wednesday about ending the 'school-to-prison pipeline,' leaders in the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice said they expect to provide guidance to schools about school discipline policies, a measure that would add to the growing list of actions the current administration has taken in this arena.
When pressed, Melodee Hanes, acting administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, told U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., that the direction from the agencies would be available in the next few months.
Durbin, chairman of the judiciary committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights, convened the hearing on ending the school-to-prison pipeline—a collection of actions that lead to students' arrest for school-based actions, which often has the long-term effect of derailing students' academic careers. For some, it leads to criminal behavior in adulthood, and the practices disproportionately affect minorities, students with disabilities, and students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender.