On Monday, Monique Lin-Luse, Special Counsel to the Education Group at LDF, spoke at the annual MLK-day memorial luncheon hosted by the Salt Lake City branch of the NAACP. She spoke about the school-to-prison pipeline and barriers to educational equality.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day can do more than commemorate a great man. It can also act as a rallying cry for needs still unmet, said NAACP attorney Monique Lin-Luse Monday.
She asked a Martin Luther King Jr. Day luncheon  audience at the Grand America Hotel to take on "one of the greatest civil rights challenges today."
Too many students, especially African-Americans, are being suspended, expelled and arrested for relatively minor offenses, making them more likely to become disaffected, drop out of school and end up in prison, said Lin-Luse who is the special counsel for the Education Group of the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
"The narrative can no longer be that ... some kids are lost. Every child starts the first day of kindergarten excited about being in school, excited about what they’re going to be when they grow up," she said. "The future of our country’s economy depends on dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline."
African-American student are three times more likely than their white peers to be suspended or expelled, and 50 percent of the arrest referrals from schools are for black or Latino students, she said.