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Public News Service has a good story on its website this morning that highlights a newly released report from the folks at Action for Children NC entitled “From Push Out to Lock Up: North Carolina’s Accelerated School-to-Prison Pipeline”:

“Discipline practices at some public school systems in North Carolina are preparing students for prison instead of a profession, according to a report released Wednesday by Action for Children North Carolina.

The problem stems from a trend for school systems to involve the juvenile justice system, even for the most mundane discipline problems, instead of dealing with the problem internally, according to Deborah Bryan, the organization’s president and CEO.

‘School districts are strapped,’ she says. ‘They’re short-staffed already, so it is a challenge already for them to deal with some of these discipline behaviors.’ Read More

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Advocates for Children’s Services released a report today that finds that Wake County Public Schools’ African American students, students who have a disability, and students who are economically disadvantaged are at particular risk of finding themselves on a pathway toward the criminal system.

Some key findings of the report include:

  • Long-term suspension rates in WCPSS were among the highest in North Carolina, in part due to the district’s severe shortage of alternatives to suspension (e.g., restorative justice, community service, and mandatory counseling).
  • The district had a severe shortage of school psychologists, social workers and guidance counselors, with ratios well below national recommendations.
  • The alternative schools and programs within the WCPSS are highly segregated, low-achieving and punitive.

The report calls out Wake County for failing to institute needed reforms to its discipline policies over the past two years, when the county began making changes to reduce suspensions.

Read the full report by clicking here.

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Local political organizer/activist Bryan Perlmutter has called our attention to an exciting summer training program for Triangle-area young people:

“Calling Triangle-Area Teens:  Work this summer to stop racism & school re-segregation, challenge the school to prison pipeline, and make schools safe for LBGTQ youth (and get paid!).

 
The Institute will take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from July 9-25, with one overnight retreat. 
Entering its fourth year the Youth Organizing Institute is committed to training, supporting, and developing the next generation of activists, organizers, and social change leaders in North Carolina.

Applications are due June 1.

Get the full story by clicking here.