Poster: Systemic Racism: Slavery and the School to Prison Pipeline

Systemic Racism: Slavery and the School to Prison Pipeline

Jasmine F. Hardy, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

The school to prison pipeline can be described as the circumstance or process in which minority students are more at risk of being punished at school, then becoming involved in the juvenile and criminal justice system. Research has shown that African-American students are 3.5 times more likely than their white classmates to be suspended or expelled (Elias, 2013). Some factors that contribute to the phenomena include, but are not limited to, inadequate teacher-student relationships, harsh and unfair tactics enforced by school personnel and police, and discrimination (Elias, 2013). While many peer-reviewed articles and scholarly books address the issues of the school to prison pipeline, not many acknowledge its correlation to systemic racism and slavery in the United States. Slavery contributed greatly to the unhealthy sense of relationship and communication between authoritative figures and minorities. Furthermore, slavery helped to instill the idea of Black persons being “criminals” and inherently non law-abiding citizens. Both of these factors can be seen played out in the mechanism that is known as the “school to prison pipeline.”

Keywords: Slavery, School to Prison Pipeline, Authoritative Figures, Discrimination