Extracting Student Athletes from the School-to-Prison Pipeline

March 21, 2013

After cross-town rivals Huron High School and Pioneer High School squared off in an Ann Arbor football game in October 2012, the traditional mid-field handshake turned into a brawl. Coaches started it, scores of players and others participated, but in the end there were only three people arrested, all of them black.

The ACLU has been at the forefront of efforts to eliminate what has come to be known as the “school-to-prison pipeline.” The term refers to a distinct correlation between the exclusion of students of color from school and their eventual involvement with the criminal justice system.

After the three students were charged with crimes, the ACLU of Michigan sent a letter to the prosecutor in March 2013 requesting that he consider the school-to-prison concerns. The letter further urged that the prosecutor consider alternative methods of disposing of criminal matters such as restorative justice.

Although initially charged with serious crimes, the three Ann Arbor students eventually received offers from the prosecutor that would, over time, result in expungement of the charges.

(ACLU Attorney Mark Fancher)

To view the full 2013-2014 Legal Docket, click here.

Related Issues: