New Program Seeks to Break School-to-Prison Pipeline in Chicago

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - EducationA new educational reform program seeks to break the School-to-Prison Pipeline (STPP) by confronting exclusionary disciplinary practices within Chicago Public Schools.

The Chicago Coalition for Fairness in School Discipline (Chicago Coalition), led by the national Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), is an innovative new initiative that brings students, parents and teachers together for a unique opportunity to gain a better understanding of the civil rights implications presented by the pipeline and learn better classroom management skills to keep Chicago’s youth in school.

The Chicago Public School (CPS) system has been identified as one of 25 “dropout epicenters” in the nation, leading to a high population of out-of-school, inner-city youth more likely to engage in delinquent behavior. This crisis is the result of CPS policies that prefer exclusion as means of addressing misbehavior rather than more restorative discipline measures that teach responsibility and keep youth in school. School pushout in Chicago disproportionately affects students of color. Black youth make up just 45 percent of the CPS student population, but account for 74 percent of juvenile arrests on CPS grounds and over 75 percent of the out-of-school suspensions and expulsions.

The Chicago Coalition empowers and unifies families and teachers to rid their school communities of STPP and its discriminatory effects through an in-depth two-day workshop. Further information about the program and a full list of partners is available on the newly launched website:

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