In February of this year, NCTE’s membership voted to ratify the Resolution on Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline. In the coming weeks, we’ve invited members to write about this issue. If you would like to share your perspectives, please contact Lu Ann McNabb at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The background statement for the resolution describes the inequitable punishment, expulsion, and suspension of primarily African American students, atypical students, and children with emotional differences. These practices have led to high drop-out rates and students entering the criminal justice system. The statement cites a large body of research that shows removing students does not improve behavior.
Here is the text of the resolution itself:
Since the School-to-Prison Pipeline (STPP) is an injurious yet growing system of institutional inequity that funnels young people who are cognitively atypical or have endured histories of poverty, abuse, neglect, and/or trauma from schools to prisons, be it therefore resolved that the National Council of Teachers of English
- partner with local and national STPP advocacy groups and other professional literacy organizations to bring awareness of this crisis to a broader audience, including community leaders and policymakers;
- strengthen the knowledge base of teacher educators, teachers, counselors, and administrators regarding the relationships among mass incarceration and school curricula, practices, and policies;
- encourage the development and dissemination of restorative and culturally sustaining pedagogical tools (e.g., research, classroom teaching strategies, and assessments) that help dismantle STPP; and
- identify and disseminate research that supports proactive inclusion of literacy in social justice work.