'School-to-prison pipeline' topic of Saturday forum
Zero tolerance policies that critics say put too many students into the criminal justice system unnecessarily will be the topic of a high-profile forum in St. Petersburg Saturday. According to an ACLU press release about the event: "Despite state efforts to reduce the impact of school “zero tolerance” policies, too many students are still being moved seamlessly from classroom to corrections facilities – often for minor infractions. The over-criminalization of conduct which can be addressed in school is regularly depriving Florida students of their constitutionally protected right to a public education."
Expected participants include Pinellas/Pasco Circuit Judge Patrice Moore; St. Petersburg City Councilman Steve Kornell; Tim Niermann, Department of Juvenile Justice; Trenia Cox, Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County; Lily McCarthy, Hillsborough Public Defenders Office; and Joyce Hamilton Henry, Ph.D, Mid Florida Regional Director, ACLU.
The event is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Bethel Community Baptist Church, 2901 54th Ave. S, St. Petersburg. It is open to the public.