Good Schools for All: Plugging the School-to-Prison Pipeline | Voice of San Diego


Good Schools for All: Plugging the School-to-Prison Pipeline

There's a link between punitive school discipline practices and students who enter the justice system, and students of color are most impacted. Mid-City CAN advocates for a wider rollout of restorative justice programs, a new approach to discipline, in San Diego's schools.

There’s a link between school discipline policies and students who enter the justice system. Folks call it the school-to-prison pipeline.

Mid-City Community Advocacy Network, or Mid-City CAN, is a City Heights-based organization that advocates for restorative justice, a new approach to school discipline that hopes to disrupt that flow.

On this week’s podcast, Diana Ross, executive director of Mid-City CAN, joined co-hosts Laura Kohn and Mario Koran, who sat in for Scott Lewis, to talk about the organization’s efforts to keep more students in school.

“The kids who continue to get expelled and suspended are still majority kids of color. … There’s a huge disparity,” Ross said.

She said San Diego Unified School District recently announced its plan for a districtwide rollout of a restorative justice program.

Kohn and Koran also discuss a speech about school discipline that Nancy Hanks, chief of elementary schools in Madison, Wis., gave to Teach for America alumni.

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Number of the Week

34 percent: That’s how much suspensions in San Diego County dropped in three years, between the 2011-2012 school year and the 2014-2015 school year.

What’s Working

The National Conflict Resolution Center and the Old Globe Theatre partnered to bring Anna Deavere Smith to San Diego for a preview performance of her stage show about the school-to-prison pipeline. Also, a quick correction, Kohn says Deavere visited Lincoln and Crawford high schools. The visits actually happened at Lincoln and Hoover.

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