Equality Federation is proud to join Advancement Project and Gay Straight Alliance Network to release Power in Partnerships: Building Connections at the Intersections to End the School-to-Prison Pipeline, a new report intended to serve as a resource for LGBT and racial justice organizations interested in working together to address disparities in school discipline along lines of race, gender and sexual orientation.
“Youth belong in schools not jails. From New Mexico to Florida to Minnesota, we’ve seen local LGBT and racial justice groups build powerful partnerships to end the school-to-prison pipeline and make a real difference in the lives of young people,” said Ian Palmquist, Equality Federation’s Director of Leadership Programs. “Now it’s time to take the lessons we’ve learned and build stronger collaborations across the country that can ensure that students of all races, gender identities, and sexual orientations get education not incarceration.”
Research shows that students of color and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students are more likely to be disciplined than their White, non-LGBT peers. Students with intersectional identities, such as Black transgender youth or gay undocumented youth, are at even greater risk.
“The exclusion and suspension techniques used to discipline me all throughout my middle school years is how I have personally experienced the school to prison pipeline,” said Zeam Porter, a student with Gay Straight Alliance Network. “The countless times I have spent physically outside of the classroom for being made the class example still has me second guessing my intelligence years later.”
“LGBT students, students of color, and LGBT students of color are also uniquely impacted by school issues such as being called disrespectful, violating dress codes, being a victim of or perpetrator of bullying, and dealing with police in schools,” said Thena Robinson-Mock, Advancement Project’s Ending the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track Campaign Project Director. “In order to solve these issues, we must create sensible policies that take into account the distinct needs of these populations, prioritize getting to the root of problems, and offer specific, appropriate solutions that keep students in school.”
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