David Domenici: Educators Can and Should Break the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Speaking at the New Schools – Aspen Institute Summit 2012 last week, David Domenici challenged educators to embrace troubled (and often challenging) students and to keep them in school, instead of calling the police. 

(watch David’s short talk at the 29:45 mark)

He listed 4 focus areas:

  1. Teach inside the fence: many of the schools in juvenile jails need compassionate and well-equipped teachers to work with teens, many of whom are under-educated and special needs.
  2. Increase technology and capacity inside jails: computer labs and classes are often crowded and ill-equipped to handle students who want to learn.
  3. Decrease use of police inside schools: save police calls for situations that pose real threats to safety and that are criminal in nature. Educators and counselors should engage with disruptive students and try to find a solution that keeps them in school.
  4. Prepare and train for tough situations: support programming that equips schools with the tools they need to engage and support students coming from difficult circumstances.

David knows what he’s talking about. He’s the founder of the Maya Angelou Public Center School in Washington, DC, and was principal of DC’s youth correctional facility’s school from 2007 to 2011. 

Thanks to Connected by 25 for the tip!

The post above is reprinted with permission from Reclaiming Futures.


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