Need Help? (410) 625-9409

Video: Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline

How Advocates in Maryland are Fighting to Keep Kids in School

Justice for Breakfast discussion

October 25, 2023

Levi Bradford, Public Justice Center
Kelsey Carlson, Public Justice Center

The school-to-prison pipeline begins with exclusionary discipline. Suspension has long been shown to be ineffective and harmful, increasing a child’s risk of encountering the criminal legal system while failing to improve school safety or climate. Last year, Maryland schools suspended students more than 54,000 times. Black students, who make up one-third of the student body, received two-thirds of those suspensions despite no differences in behavior from white students. On top of that, the data show that this disparity is only getting worse. What’s being done to address these disparities? How do you advocate for students’ rights when political winds are blowing the opposite direction? What can we do to keep kids in school?

During this Justice for Breakfast, the PJC’s Education Stability Project will discuss the state of the school-to-prison pipeline in Maryland. You’ll hear about what advocates in the state are doing to oppose the use of school removal and promote alternative, evidence-based strategies to address problem behavior. You’ll also hear about new legal developments that affect students’ rights and the unique challenge of protecting those rights when political momentum favors harsher discipline and less autonomy for kids.