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Michigan Schools Expelling too many Black Students

by on June 28, 2009

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Schools are not using enough discretion under Michigan’s zero-tolerance expulsion law and are disproportionately kicking out black students who ultimately end up behind bars, according to a report from the American Civil Liberties Union.

The study by the ACLU of Michigan was released Wednesday. It identifies a school-to-prison pipeline it says has been created by suspension policies, cultural stereotypes, referrals to law enforcement for school fights and factors such as not requiring expelled students to get an alternative education.

Michigan’s 1995 zero-tolerance law requires an expulsion for possessing any "dangerous weapon," and the ACLU says it is broader than required by federal law. The ACLU wants state law to be eased so only firearms possession is subject to mandatory expulsion.

The ACLU’s report says students were disciplined for bringing a toy gun, novelty lighter and eyebrow archer to school.

 

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