Call the Principal, Not the Police: Preventing the School to Prison Pipeline

Sharon Issurdatt Dietsche, LICSW, LCSW-C

School Social Work

Practice Perspectives


The "school to prison pipeline" is a phenomenon that has occurred over the last few decades as school systems have increasingly relied upon zero tolerance policies and law enforcement to manage discipline in schools, resulting in rising incidents of suspensions, expulsions and schoolbased arrests. This trend represents a shift from discipline being handled fully by the school administration in a more individualized manner, attending to the nuances of the student and the misconduct, to a shift towards criminalizing even minor offenses with rigid consequences that are often extreme for the offense.

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