Group calls JCPS zero tolerance policy “school-to-prison pipeline”

By February 13, 2014April 15th, 2014No Comments

February 12, 2014. WLKY News.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —The board of education calls it a “zero tolerance policy,” but the Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together or “CLOUT” calls it “the school-to-prison pipeline.”

CLOUT maintains that the zero tolerance policy makes schools more dangerous, but JCPS says they’re on the right track and making progress.

JCPS says it has an intervention system and suspensions have actually gone down from 16,000 to 13,000 over the past three years.

But CLOUT says the numbers are still way too high, adding the district handed out more than 100 times as many suspensions as Boston last year.

Clout says JCPS isn’t acting with urgency to solve the problem and this could land the district in hot water with the federal government, if something doesn’t change.

“The federal government is taking note of this and threatening districts like JCPS and saying you might be the target of a federal civil rights investigation if you don’t get this under control,” said CLOUT board member Christopher Kolb.

In a statement to WLKY news, JCPS said in part, over the past several months, “We have met with members of CLOUT numerous times about their concerns. JCPS has selected a behavior intervention system that is rooted in research based practices and principles proven to improve school cultures,” said a JCPS spokesperson.

CLOUT believes the district needs to implement a system aimed at restoring relationships between students, parents and administrators.