Judge says discrimination suit against school district can go forward

A Kern County Superior Court Judge ruled that a discrimination suit filed by Latino and African American students against the Kern High School District can move forward. The expulsion rate in district schools was over five times higher for African-American students and three times higher for Latino students than the rate for white students. “[The Kern High School District’s] discipline […]

Read More Judge says discrimination suit against school district can go forward

‘Court school’ to classroom: a bill to keep emancipated youth in school

“Court school” is the term for the education of minors in the criminal justice system, but more often than not, it’s the last school that detained juveniles will attend.  A key component in the dropout rate of kids leaving juvenile hall – an absence of coordination between the county’s education and juvenile probation departments – could be addressed in […]

Read More ‘Court school’ to classroom: a bill to keep emancipated youth in school

Interview with Anna Deavere-Smith: The school-to-prison pipeline

MacArthur Award-winning actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith became an advocate for wiping out the “school to prison pipeline,” in her one woman show, Field Notes: Doing Time in Education. Deavere Smith portrays the voices of children, parents, judges, teachers, and juvenile justice advocates. The staged reading was meant to provoke discussion. “As I’m told, [California] is one of the few places where Democrats and […]

Read More Interview with Anna Deavere-Smith: The school-to-prison pipeline

Boyle Heights schools revising discipline with restorative justice

Roosevelt High is now one of three public schools in Los Angeles to start implementing restorative justice, a growing movement to replace traditional methods of school discipline with practices that lead to fewer suspensions, expulsions, and dropouts.  Struggling with low graduation rates district-wide, the Los Angeles school district’s board approved a bill that eliminated “zero tolerance” policies for breaking rules and ended suspensions […]

Read More Boyle Heights schools revising discipline with restorative justice

Latinos drop out more from high school – and lead in college enrollment

Latinos outpaced their white counterparts in getting into University of California schools this year. This rise in Latino college freshman accompanies one troubling fact: Latino students still drop out of high school more than any other racial group. “This rise in the number of Latinos in college is in keeping with national findings from Pew Research, which finds 69% of Hispanic high […]

Read More Latinos drop out more from high school – and lead in college enrollment

‘Sons and Brothers’ targets emotional health for young men of color

Garden Pathways in Bakersfield works with boys and men of color to help them cast off the roles they feel society assigned them, and tap into their independent self-image. One means of facilitating this is exposure to new environments. “We were driving to a museum in LA, and as they were driving by Pyramid Lake, one of the young men pointed asked, ‘Is that the […]

Read More ‘Sons and Brothers’ targets emotional health for young men of color

A suspended education

Benjamin Thomas was first suspended in third grade, then expelled in fourth grade.  The trend continued until he reached Sunset High, where he says the adults understood more about his experiences, and encouraged him to stay in school instead of kicking him out.  “They got to know me on a personal level. They understand the kinds of […]

Read More A suspended education

Community organizations join forces against harsh school discipline

Parents and community leaders Kern High School District is still employing discipline practices that unfairly target minority kids.  With high rates of suspensions and dropouts, community organizations and local ministries say minority students in the district are kicked out of the classroom and put into the school-to-prison pipeline. They’re sparking a new effort to engage parents to stop this trend. “We are trying to […]

Read More Community organizations join forces against harsh school discipline