September 24, 2018

School-to-Prison Pipeline


AUGUST 8-9, 2016


RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges all federal, state, territorial and local legislative bodies and governmental agencies to:

(a) adopt policies, legislation and initiatives designed to eliminate the school to prison pipeline whereby students of color, students with disabilities, LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, or queer) students, homeless students, and other marginalized youth constituencies are disproportionately impacted by systemic inequities in education and over-discipline resulting in disparate school drop-out or “push-out” rates and juvenile justice system or prison interactions, i.e., school to prison;

(b) adopt laws and policies supporting legal representation for students at point of exclusion from school, including suspension and expulsion;

(c) support ongoing implicit bias training for  teachers, administrators, school resource officers, police, juvenile judges, prosecutors, and  lawyers and others involved with students;

(d) require data reporting relating to school discipline, including distinctions between educator discipline and law enforcement discipline to the Office of Civil Rights;

(e) support legislation that eliminates the use of suspensions, expulsions, and referrals to law enforcement for lower-level offenses; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges state and local prosecutors’ offices, and national and state prosecutors associations to develop screening and charging policies and statements of best practices for school referred cases to juvenile courts.

Proposed resolution and report