from Huffington Post
Federal civil rights lawyers have filed a lawsuit against Meridian, Mississippi and other defendants in which they accuse city officials of operating a “school-to-prison pipeline” that jails students days at a time for minor infractions, without a probable cause hearing.
According to the American Bar Association Journal, the policy mainly affects black students and students with disabilities.
This “school to prison pipeline” claim says students are handcuffed and arrested in school and sent to a youth court and denied constitutional rights for minor infractions like talking back to teachers or violating dress codes. The lawsuit states they are then transported more than 80 miles to the Rankin County youth detention center, reports the Associated Press.
Many students end up on probation, without being provided proper legal representation and without determining whether there is probable cause when a school wants to press charges. For those placed on probation, a future school violation could be grounds for a suspension they must serve while incarcerated in the juvenile detention center.