New York City’s Contribution to the School to Prison Pipeline

New York Citys Contribution to the School to Prison Pipeline

Penelope Park, Staff Writer

The school to prison pipeline is an idea that schools push “troubled” students out of the education system and into prisons. It is an example in which our public education has failed us. 

In highschool, zero-tolerance policies and suspension are the primary reasons for students being kicked out of the education system into situations that result in incarceration. Black and Latinx students seem to be the target due to discriminatory disciplinary policies; New York City appears to be the face of this issue.

The overuse of expulsion and suspension is the start of this entire system of injustice. The conclusion could be made rather than these zero-tolerance policies that kick students out of school; students should be given a chance to stand up to their wrongdoing in school activities and outreaches. From the start giving young teenage minds the idea that the way to solve a problem is by getting rid of it is not an effective method to teach an individual about how to deal with mistakes, therefore they are more likely to be repeated,  

 A study made by the AAPF (African American Policy Forum) uncovered that black girls are 53 times more likely to get expelled, and black boys are ten times more likely to get expelled than other white students in New York State.  In comparison, nationwide, black girls are six times more likely to get expelled than white girls, and black boys are three times more likely to get expelled than white boys. Both findings are shocking and disappointing, but it is clear that New York is much more prone to these discriminatory ideals than the rest of America. 

These rates of expulsion contribute to higher numbers of arrests. A New York City report by the Center for Popular Democracy and Urban Youth Collaborative found that police are 8.3 times more likely to check a black student than a white student and 4.4 times more likely to check a student that is Latinx other than a white student. Ninety-two percent of all student arrests made in NYC in 2017 were black and Latinx. This also highlights our justice system and that the NYPD is the main contributor to the school to prison pipeline. 

Not only does the school to prison pipeline take away from the students but also the city. Schools have to pay for security officers, staffing for suspension centers, and criminal court expenses. If the school to prison pipeline ended, approximately 746 million dollars would be saved. This money could be used on ways to add to the city rather than taking away teenagers that could have been future lawyers, doctors, and artists due to New York Citys own justice and education flaws. 

The New York City public education system meant to be sending kids to college should not be the reason that targeted groups of students are being arrested, taking away the opportunity for education for thousands.

This cycle will continue without an end if revisions to New York Cities public education are not made, more people need to be aware, so they can do things to help and avoid the injustices that our current system seems to allow.