The National Association of Social Workers
The NASW provide a thoughtful article entitled Call the Principal, Not the Police: Preventing the School to Prison Pipeline. This article provides an incredible analysis of the school to prison pipeline and it describes how Social Workers, working in close capacity to schools, provide an alternative to youth court referrals and discipline disparities. ͞Many parents, families and professionals, including social workers, teachers, and school administrators are unaware of the vastness of this issue within the country. Many adults assume that school discipline policies are similar to when they were in school decades ago and are unaware of how the lack of funding, test-based accountability and other major changes have affected how students are disciplined for even minor misconduct in schools. Social workers have the ability to reach parents, families, school administrators, teachers, etc. through their unique relationships to help raise awareness of the inequalities these discipline measures create and sustain. Promoting awareness through creating documents for distribution, discussion, trainings and advocating for student and family rights are some ways to help foster awareness of this issue.
The National Educators Association
The National Educators Association in collaboration with the National Opportunity to Learn Campaign and the Advancement Project teamed up to present educators with a rubric for restorative justice practices. Humans are born to learn, but we don’t learn in isolation. We learn based on positive relationships and interactions with peers and in environments like schools that foster opportunities for students and staff to learn and grow together. Educators recognize this reality and keep the social and emotional health of their students a deliberate and central focus of learning. As educators partner with districts to move away from zero tolerance discipline policies and ramp up efforts to strengthen safe and supportive schools, address conflict, improve school climate, and build a positive school culture that students are connected to, many campuses are looking to implement alternative, restorative approaches.