In Kalamazoo alone, black students are 4x more likely to be suspended or expelled than white students. We know that aggressive disciplinary programs perpetuate the school-to-prison pipeline. It's time for each state to reevaluate its zero tolerance policies to ensure that every student is treated fairly and given the tools necessary to succeed in school and beyond.
Michigan House Bill 5619 — the "Michigan Restored Justice Law” — is a crucial step to end the school-to-prison pipeline in the state. This law uses victim-offender conferences instead of automatic suspension and expulsion, helping keep kids in school and encourages positive relationships between students and teachers.
However, this is an unfunded mandate. To make this work, we must provide the financial support necessary to bring social workers into our public schools and provide training for teachers and administrators tasked with fulfilling this mandate.
If you agree that we need to end the school-to-prison pipeline and provide kids with opportunities to succeed in school and beyond, help us send a message to Superintendent Whiston and the Michigan Board of Education. Sign our petition now!