08: School-to-Prison Pipeline
“There’s a legacy of structural racism that also has contributed mightily to the phenomenon that we call the school-to-prison pipeline.”
The School to Prison Pipeline is the link between educational practices and the increase in Black boys entering the juvenile justice system. This podcast will describe this phenomenon and provide best practices that school administrators and policy advocates can take to intervene.
Daniel J. Losen is director of the Center for Civil Rights Remedies, an initiative at the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles (CRP). He has worked at the Civil Rights Project since 1999, when it was affiliated with Harvard Law School, where he was a lecturer on law. Losen's work concerns the impact of law and policy on children of color and language minority students including: the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act with a focus on promoting diversity, access to effective teachers, and improving graduation rate accountability; the IDEA and racial inequity in special education; school discipline and revealing and redressing the “School-to- Prison Pipeline;” and protecting the rights of English learners to equal educational opportunity. On these and related topics he conducts law and policy research; publishes books, reports, and articles and works closely with federal and state legislators to inform legislative initiatives. Both for The Civil Rights Project, and independently, he provides guidance to policymakers, educators and advocates at the state and district level. Before becoming a lawyer, Mr. Losen taught in public schools for ten years, including work as a school founder of an alternative public school.
Amir Whitaker is a researcher with the Center for Civil Rights Remedies, an initiative at the Civil Rights Project at UCLA. He has worked as a civil rights lawyer in Florida and Alabama to expand the educational rights of tens of thousands of students. He has authored publications highlighting educational inequalities, and filed federal civil rights complaints on behalf of marginalized students. Amir’s trainings have provided continuing education credits to teachers, counselors, school psychologists, lawyers, and other professionals. He has trained entire school districts on educational equity and school discipline. Over the past ten years as an educator, Amir has worked in different settings from South Los Angeles to South Africa, and has taught grade levels ranging from kindergarten to college. He has held teaching credentials in California, Florida, and New Jersey. During his adolescence, Amir was expelled from school, arrested, and lived in a dozen different settings. This inspired Amir to start the nonprofit Project KnuckleHead to inspire vulnerable youth to reach their potential for greatness. Since 2012, Project KnuckleHead’s prevention and intervention programs have served thousands of students across the country. Amir received his doctorate in education from the University of Southern California, law degree from the University of Miami, and bachelors from Rutgers University.