Alternatives to the School to Prison Pipeline

This week we have been watching clips from "Growing Fairness" in our advisement meetings and learning that there are many schools across the country who are developing restorative justice practices including fairness circles and peer mediation programs as an alternative to zero tolerance policies.

NYCLU workshop on "Understanding the School to Prison Pipeline" Workshop

This week Lauren Frederico, an organizer with the New York Civil Liberties Union who focuses on advocacy around youth empowerment and student rights, came to MCS to lead two workshops for 7th & 8th graders on "Understanding the School to Prison Pipeline".

During our time with Lauren we saw a photo essay put together by students in the NYCLU's Teen Activist Project about what it's like to go to schools with heavy police presence and metal detectors. We learned that 12% of NYC students pass through metal detectors every day, which involves long lines and waits just to get into school.  We also learned that schools with metal detectors do not permit students to enter the building with their cellphones and that many students rent daily cellphone storage from bodegas near their schools. We asked lots of questions. One question we wondered about is whether metal detectors are installed in schools in response to armed violence in those schools and learned that there is no evidence that this is the case.

Below are a few of the images from the photo essay. To see the full collection of images, visit