Welcome to the all new blog for “Five Steps to Avoid the School to Prison Pipeline”. Be sure to follow the blog to be notified of new short stories posted daily for discussion with youth!

The full story shared on this blog is geared towards youth ages 12-18 and can be used to help guide conversations that we must begin to have with youth if they are to avoid the school to prison pipeline. To read from the beginning of the story, start with our first post “Suspended For What?! Jaleesa’s Cell Phone!” which all begins with a young girl being suspended from school for a non-violent offense. We have all heard that suspension is a big driver of the school to prison pipeline, but how does that work exactly? The story in this blog does a marvelous job of putting this into context for youth and is an excellent discussion tool for teachers, counselors and anyone working with youth.

The characters are 15-year-old sassy and secretly insecure Jaleesa, 16-year-old wise, smart and very proud Robert Jr, their heartbroken and depressed Mom Latonia and their playboy Dad Robert Sr. All characters are based on real life people as observed by the teachers and juvenile detention staff who contributed their experiences in the writing of these stories.

The purpose of these stories are to give professionals real life situations that they can use to begin to have real meaningful conversations with youth about the triggers of the school to prison pipeline. How can youth avoid something that they don’t understand? The power to stop the school to prison pipeline is within each youth, not outside them. It is our duty as adults to empower them with an understanding of the triggers causing the growing school to prison pipeline.

“Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you respond to it!” ~ Author unknown