Credibility Analysis: The American Civil Liberties Union wants to plug the school-to-prison pipeline.

Our nations children are being pushed out of the classroom and into the courtroom. The sad part is, the school system is the exact thing forcing them out of the classroom. The American Civil Liberties Union, “Advocating individual rights by litigating, legislating, and educating the public on a broad array of issues affecting individual freedom” (ACLU), posted an article uncovering the basics of “What is the School-to-Prison Pipeline”. The intention of this organization is to draft legislation and inform the public about freedom for the individual and to fight for the rights of an individual. The ACLU is a credible organization that was able to speak on the issue of the school-to-prison pipeline.

The Main Point of the article was to highlight all the obstacles that a student faces on the “path to incarceration”. The article outlines facts abut the failing public school systems and how African Americans, and other minorities in the urban area of the United States, are being harshly disciplined and even permanently put into the criminal justice system. School systems are beginning to adopt the “zero-tolerance policies that automatically impose severe punishment regardless of circumstances.” The ACLU goes on to highlight the different aspects of this policy which includes more security on campus, which creates an oppressive environment for the students, and the option of disciplinary alternative school for students after they have been expelled. This makes it harder for the students to re-enter life after they go through the criminal justice system. The article does a good job of showing all the different ways in which the students are being affected and even provides links to what can be done to help set the students up for success rather than jail.

The ACLU does a great job of showing that many of the school systems are starting to value discipline over education. The major problem the article addresses is that education in the United States is failing. It all starts with the terrible resources in these schools such as “overcrowded classrooms, a lack of quali­fied teachers, and insufficient funding for “extras” such as counselors, special edu­cation services, and even textbooks, lock students into second-rate educational envi­ronments.” Even with the No Child Left Behind Act in place, it affects these students negatively because the lower performing students will get forced out to boost test scores. These overly harsh policies are setting up kids to fail and drop out rather than graduate and could even further add to the massive incarceration rate we have here in the United States. Schools are suspending kids at very high rates, “from 1.7 million in 1974 to 3.1 million in 2000”, sending them straight into the arms of a judge who will send them to jail.

The American Civil Liberties Union really opened up the readers eyes to what is really happening to our students when we send them to school. They were able to provide credible facts and information regarding all the different obstacles and problems students face on their way out of school and into the criminal justice system. All of the sources are easily found at the work cited page. The only issue was that the links in the article brought you to the works cited page rather than the articles themselves. Direct links to the sources make it easier for the reader to obtain information. All in all this information is very well researched and really sheds light on the School-to-Prison Pipeline.

“What is the School-to-Prison Pipeline”

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