It takes 21 days to form a habit. 

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Week 2: Education
Today's Challenge: School-to-Prison Pipeline
You’ve likely heard of the term “school-to-prison pipeline,” and, if you haven’t, check out this infographic created by the ACLU. Most notably, this term is tied to the systems that funnel children, primarily children of color, from public schools into juvenile detention systems, and eventually prisons. Today, we will learn more about how school disciplinary policies disproportionately affect Black students, particularly Black girls. Stereotypes and misperceptions, which view Black girls as older, more mature, and more aggressive, have led to a lesser-discussed trend, the adultification of Black girls.
Attempts to counter these racial disparities in school discipline have manifested through various initiatives including Nashville Metro School’s PASSAGE initiative, which stands for “Positive and Safe Schools Advancing Greater Equity.” This teacher training initiative focused on non-punitive forms of discipline and helped tighten the standards on when administrators can suspend a child.
However, even after the investment of millions of dollars in PASSAGE and other reform efforts, the disparity has actually increased with Black students increased suspension rate over white students jumping from 2.7 times more likely in 2014-2015 to 3.1 times more likely in 2018-2019. Read this article about the five key takeaways from The Tennessean's investigation of racial disparities in school discipline in Metro Nashville Public Schools. 

We Challenge You To Take...

Out of school suspensions have doubled since the 1970s and continue to increase even though juvenile crimes have continued to drop, despite a decrease in juvenile crimes. Watch this short video which explains the school-to-prison pipeline.
By age 9, the behaviors of Black girls are often seen as and treated more like adults than children. Peruse this study on the erasure of Black girls’ childhood, particularly pages 9-11 as it pertains to discipline in school.
In conversations about the school-to-prison pipeline, the focus has been primarily centered around boys. However, across the country, Black girls are 6 times more likely to be suspended than white girls. Read this interview with author, film writer and social justice scholar, Monique W. Morris, to learn more about her work advocating for the future of Black girls.
In this interactive data-set, you can plug in your school system and those around you to investigate whether there is racial inequality at your school.

Education Week Action Items

Read this brief intro on school segregation and bring together a small group of colleagues, family or friends to participate in one of 6 interactive activities. 

Check out this map and see which school district you are located in within Knox County. Write a letter to your  school board representative or attend your next school board meeting to bring up a big issue of concern. 
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