Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) pens an exclusive op-ed for ESSENCE.com entitled, Closing the School-to-Prison Pipeline for Good. In this piece, she talks about the threat that young students of color face every day, rethinking the approach to public education and public safety and more. She states:
“In the 1990’s, hundreds of police officers were deployed to public schools across the country as a component of the war on drugs and later in response to school shootings. Today, at least fourteen million students attend schools staffed with a police officer — but without a single counselor, social worker, psychologist, or nurse.
The result is that in many cases, an infraction as simple as back talking or skipping class that should end in detention or administrative intervention can end in arrest. Over the years, the implementation of policies from Zero-Tolerance to surveillance to criminalizing lateness and absenteeism have created a system of loopholes that trap our most vulnerable students in a pipeline kept alive by the for-profit prison system. It’s a system that disproportionately hurts black and brown students and undermines their learning…As President, I will work to close the school to prison pipeline, by rethinking our approach to public education and public safety…”
In addition, she reflects on her recently revealed plan to invest $800 billion in public schools and how she would invest “an additional $100 billion in ‘Excellence Grants’—that’s equivalent to $1 million for every public school in the country—to invest in things like after school arts programs and school-based student mentoring programs…” This would be in an overall effort toreduce the impact of systemic racial and economic disadvantage on students.
For more, visit ESSENCE.com.