Our public educational institutions are intended to be a place where all students regardless of their identity or background can learn and grow. However, disciplinary practices in many school districts today are not consistently enforced between racial groups. Black kids receive harsher disciplinary actions in schools. This results in diminished opportunity and undue punishment known as the School to Prison Pipeline. This systemic flaw funnels students, especially students of color, out of schools and into the criminal justice system.
The Pro Publica data for Anson, Cabarrus, Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Iredell-Statesville county school districts reveals similar trends, with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools suspending or expelling Black students almost six times more likely than white students.
Based on data from the American Civil Liberties Union, students who have been suspended are twice as likely as their peers to repeat a grade, three times as likely to drop out of school and three times more likely to be in contact with the juvenile justice system. Taken together, these facts lead us to an alarming conclusion that students of color are at a particularly high risk of moving from the school system to the criminal justice system.