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Senate Hearing On Ending The School-to-Prison Pipeline Shows Need For Federal Action To Reform School Discipline And Address Racial Disparity

There are a number of bills before Congress that can help to end school pushout and implement these approaches. The Restorative Justice in Schools Act (H.R. 415, Cohen), the Positive Behavior for Safe and Effective Schools Act (H.R. 3165, Davis/Platts), and the Successful, Safe, and Healthy Students Act (S. 919, Harkin) would direct federal support for training in best practices for improving school discipline and climate. Representative George Miller's Amendment to the Student Success Act (H.R.  3989, Kline) would use high disciplinary rates and disparities to trigger support from local and state educational agencies to provide resources and training for schools in need of improvement. And the Youth PROMISE Act (H.R.  2721, Scott) would support local or regional strategies to reduce the number of youth entering the justice system.  Passing these bills can serve to foster better learning environments for all.

"We are glad to be in Washington on behalf of the Mississippi Delta Catalyst Roundtable and to lift up the voices of the students who are being pushed out by zero tolerance policies in our local schools," said Kahlil Johnson, Board Chair of Nollie Jenkins Family Center of Lexington, Mississippi who is in Washington, D.C. to attend the hearing. "We hope that this is the first of many hearings so that everyone around the country knows this is not a small uprising but a national movement to end school pushout."

The Dignity in Schools Campaign is a coalition of youth, parents, educators, civil rights organizations, and social justice advocates working to ensure the human right of every child to a quality education and to be treated with dignity. The DSC challenges the systemic problem of "push out" and promotes local and national alternatives to a culture of zero-tolerance, punishment and removal in our nation's schools.

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