May 2, 2017

JESSELYN McCURDYOur show on Tuesday, May 2nd, 12:00-1:00 PM will discuss “Saving Our Students (SOS)!: Fighting the School to Prison Pipeline. The School to Prison Pipeline (STPP) is the structural system which targets African American, Latino and other students of color beginning in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12, by criminalizing conduct and behavior, subjecting students to excessively harsh and punitive disciplinary policies including exposure to the juvenile justice system. The studies on the STPP are staggering in documenting the racial bias and devastating impact of this system of discretionary discipline and punishment. Students with learning disabilities and special needs, many students of color, are so disproportionately impacted by the STPP. There are viable models to solve and stop this horrendous system.

Our special guests are some of the nation’s leading experts on the School to Prison Pipeline and Educational Policy. We welcome back to the show, Tanya Clay House, renowned civil rights and education policy attorney, former Director of K-12 Education for the US Department of Education; and our new first time guests: Jesseyln McCurdy, Deputy Director, The American Civil Liberties Union Washington Office; and Stacey Eunnae, Clinical Instructor/Supervising Attorney, Juvenile & Special Education Law Clinic, University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law.

Research shows that the excessive and punitive school discipline has been increasing in our nation at an alarming rate. According to a February 24, 2015 article by Libby Nelson & Dara Lind published by Justice Policy Institute, entitled “The School to Prison Pipeline, Explained“, “out-of-school suspensions have increased about 10 percent since 2000. They have more than doubled since the 1970s. Black students are three times more likely to be suspended or expelled than white students…and research in Texas found students who have been suspended are more likely to be held back a grade and drop out of school entirely.” This increase happened as the “juvenile incarceration rate dropped 41 percent between 1995 and 2010

Often, students with special needs are also over-disciplined and criminalized within the educational context becoming victims of the STPP.

In response to this problem of growing racialized school discipline and the over-involvement of special needs students, frequently the same students, the Obama Administration issued a Guidance on School Discipline setting forth recommendations for public schools for decreasing heightened school discipline and punishment. As Tanya Clay House worked on the development of this Guidance as an advocate and later on its implementation she will provide insight into its effectiveness and what to expect from the DeVos Education Department.

Jesseyln McCurdy will help us pick up the discussion from last week about School Resource Officers (SROs) and the negative role they play as part of the STPP.

Parents are often at wits ends about how to navigate the school disciplinary process. Stacey Eunnae will discuss her program which represents students during the school discipline program and what parents need to know.

How do we dismantle the School to Prison Pipeline nationally and in DC? What should students know? How can the community advocate for reform? What should be done about regulating SROs? How can lawyers devote their talents to helping students pro bono (for free)? These and other topics will be discussed during the show.

Given the magnitude of this problem, we are also posting articles including Infographics on the STPP on our show website at

Be sure to listen live on Tuesday, May 2nd, 12:00-1:00 PM EDT in the DC Metro Region at WOL 1450 AM and worldwide on the Internet at

You don’t want to miss this show!


Jesselyn McCurdy

Jesselyn McCurdy is responsible for defending civil liberties in Congress and in the Executive Branch in the areas of Jesselyn McCurdy is responsible for defending […]


Stacey Eunnae

Stacey Eunnae is a Clinical Instructor and Supervising Attorney in the Juvenile and Special Education Law Clinic at the University of the District of Columbia […]

Tanya Clay House

Tanya Clay House