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Hillary Clinton Discusses Plans to Fix School-to-Prison Pipeline

Hillary Clinton Discusses Plans to Fix School-to-Prison Pipeline

Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton discussed this week her plans for K-12 education, expressing a desire to continue policies begun by President Obama.

Clinton gave a speech at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, NY and discussed her intentions to fix the school-to-prison pipeline on a national level.

She announced her plans to invest $2 billion into school districts "to reform their school discipline practices and dramatically expand behavioral support programs for students,” according to Clinton’s campaign site.

Clinton made it clear she intends to expand on Obama’s initiatives to support African Americans in education and beyond.

" There are still very real barriers holding back African Americans from fully participating in our society. That’s what I am here to talk about today,” she said in her speech.

Many of these barriers, Clinton said, exist in America’s K-12 classroom.

"We’ve seen a significant increase in police involvement in school discipline, especially in schools with majority-black students. We’re seeing an over-reliance on suspensions and expulsions. I’m sure many of us remember that horrifying video of the girl in South Carolina being thrown out of her desk and dragged across her classroom by a school police officer,” she said.

"A classroom should be a safe place for our children. We shouldn’t even have to say that, I don’t think.”

Clinton announced her intention to expand support services available in schools to avoid simply labeling children “problem students” and instead giving them the tools to work through it and succeed.

She even has plans for schools that might initially resist being compelled to reform disciplinary structure.

”...for schools that refuse to reform and states that refuse to take this issue seriously, I want the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights to intervene, because this—this is not just an education issue, this is a civil rights issue and we cannot ignore it any longer.”

This marks one of the first times Clinton articulated specific plans for K-12 education policy. To read more about her K-12 education views, see here.

Read her full speech here.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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