As a life long educator, hearing the term “school to prison pipeline” causes me to cringe. Imagining lines of young Black males walking that pipeline only intensifies feelings of grief and loss. Imagine the difference if money spent on prisons had been allotted to changes within our public school system.
News articles frequently inform us that “the school to prison pipeline” predominantly destroys lives of Black males. When I force myself to get honest about this reality, I realize that every student who drops out of school or who ends up in prison embodies an appalling personal cost as well as a disastrous loss to society. Instead of increasing my hand wringing, I want to share a few alternative ideas, which I learned from others.