(Washington, DC) – The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) welcomes a Senate hearing today on “Ending the School to Prison Pipeline.” The hearing, before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, is the first Congressional hearing to examine school discipline. LDF will submit written testimony on this historic occasion.
The “School-to-Prison Pipeline ” describes a national trend in which far too many schools reflexively resort to harsh exclusionary discipline such as suspension, expulsion, and even arrest to address school disciplinary incidents. Research demonstrates that such practices are counterproductive and predict grade retention, school dropout, and involvement in the juvenile and criminal justice system. Data show that African-American students are disproportionately impacted by these approaches, thereby fueling the School-to-Prison Pipeline.