A Push for Equity in the Classroom

Last spring, the Winston Salem/Forsyth County Schools in North Carolina decided it was time to overhaul their disciplinary policies in light of jarring data which showed that Black students in the district were five times more likely to get suspended than white students.

The school-to-prison pipeline, which funnels students — largely of color — into the criminal justice system has been well documented through robust research. According to a working paper published in 2019 by the National Bureau of Economic Research, students assigned to schools with high suspension rates are up to 20 percent more likely to be arrested and incarcerated later and are also less likely to attend a four-year college.

Howard Henderson, CJR's founding Director says, “From the very moment that you saw integration of school systems, you began to see an unfair distribution of school suspensions being placed on, particularly at that time, Black kids, and now LatinX kids. You begin to see these students don't do as well academically, they don't do as well in civic engagement. They're not as engaged in society."

"From an educational level, they just don't achieve like everyone else who's not suspended. They're more likely to end up in juvenile detention, which means they're also more likely to end up in the adult prison system at a later point in life.”

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