Scott Statement on Obama Administration Actions to End the School-to-Prison Pipeline

WASHINGTON – Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) released the following statement after the Departments of Education and Justice issued new clarifying guidance to colleges and school administrators on the role of school resource officers (SROs) and campus police:

“I applaud the actions taken by the Departments of Education and Justice. Evidence and research shows that instead of protecting children, school resource officers are often policing children and creating a direct link in the school-to-prison pipeline. Discipline issues that traditionally were handled by schools and colleges are now referred to law enforcement, increasing the chances that a student gets involved in the juvenile – and eventually the criminal – justice system. This jeopardizes their chances to graduate high school and succeed in college or career.

“We must insure that institutions of learning are designed to educate and nurture our students – not put them on the wrong path. The Commonwealth of Virginia and other states have realized this by reforming their laws around SROs based on evidence and research, and I am pleased that the federal government is providing guidance to spur additional state and local actions. This announcement from the Obama administration is a meaningful first step toward rethinking discipline and eroding the school-to-prison pipeline. As Ranking Member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, I stand firm in my commitment to dismantle the pipeline so that all students have an opportunity in success in college or career.”

New York Times Editorial: Criminalizing Children at School


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