Plugging the 'pipeline'
Forum examines policies that may be pushing kids from classrooms to jail cells
By Joe Piasecki 07/09/2009
The ACLU Pasadena–Foothills is hosting a public forum Tuesday on whether discipline policies in Pasadena public schools — including the filing of criminal charges against teenage students by Pasadena police officers — are pushing children out of the classroom and into the criminal justice system.
A March 5 Pasadena Weekly story found that while Pasadena police officers resolve the vast majority of school-related incidents without filing criminal charges, but district officials did not have accurate data about the fates of children who faced expulsions or criminal charges.
The forum will examine the “school-to-prison pipeline,” a term activists use to describe a national trend toward discipline policies that put kids in the hands of police and prosecutors rather than teachers and school administrators.
Speakers at the free event include Mikala Rahn, who runs Learning Works!, a charter high school in Pasadena designed to serve dropouts and students expelled from traditional schools, PUSD Superintendent Edwin Diaz, UCLA Public Affairs Professor Miriam Krinsky and Children’s Defense Fund Los Angeles Outreach Coordinator Saudeka Shabazz.
The forum is at 7 p.m. at Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church, 301 N. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena. Call (626) 449-3470.