Amanda Iocono


The school-to-prison pipeline is one of the nation’s biggest challenges as students of color, LGBTQIA+ students, and students with disabilities are being funneled into prisons. Thousands of articles have been written on the existence of the school-to prison pipeline and potential solutions. Federal and state policies have shifted to combat the pipeline, but there is still a large proportion of our nation’s students being criminalized on account of their looks and behaviors. This Note argues that the school-to-prison pipeline is a systemic practice of the American education system, and the education system is functioning exactly as designed. The continued use of zero tolerance policies and school resource officers are proof that this system exists and continues to evolve. To address the real structural inequities of the school system, it must be met with equally radical practices, such as restorative justice, that address the systemic harm. Restorative justice, when done correctly and with the right resources, can be the solution to the school-to-prison pipeline.

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