Online Program

Disrupting the school to prison pipeline: Using health impact assessment to address school discipline policies in los angeles

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 9:30 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

Maisie Chin, MA, Community Asset Development Re-Defining Education (CADRE), Los Angeles, CA
The ‘school to prison pipeline' refers to a widespread pattern of pushing students, especially those already at a disadvantage, out of school and into the criminal justice system. Over half of students in South Los Angeles (the former Local District 7) do not finish school, and African Americans and Latinos are vastly overrepresented in this estimate. ‘Zero tolerance' school discipline policies used in LA and around the country are approaches that suspend and expel students for minor misbehaviors and often lead to dropout. With the goal of improving educational attainment and disrupting the pipeline, Community Asset Development Re-Defining Education (CADRE) helped pass a district-wide School-Wide Positive Behavior Support (SWPBS) discipline policy in 2007. Today, however, many district schools are not implementing SWPBS for a host of reasons. As a result, CADRE staff and parent-members participated in a health impact assessment (HIA) of school discipline policies in South Los Angeles to inform implementation of SWPBS. The HIA found that zero tolerance school discipline policies fail to improve educational opportunities and school climate. Additionally, alternative policies, such as SWPBS, have the potential to improve the health and well-being of students through increasing: time spent in school, academic performance, mental health outcomes, health knowledge and behaviors, earning potential and access to resources, access to social networks of support, and other health determinants. This presentation will describe the HIA process and outcomes, including how CADRE and other community partners incorporated the HIA results and recommendations into advocacy around school discipline issues.

Learning Areas:

Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Explain use of HIA on school discipline policies as a way to disrupt the ‘school to prison pipeline’. Identify connections between school discipline and health. Describe how a community organization and partners used HIA findings and recommendations in a campaign to encourage schools to implement an alternative to zero-tolerance discipline policies, School-Wide Positive Behavioral Support.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As Executive Director and Co-Founder of CADRE, I bring years of experience in supporting grassroots efforts among South Los Angeles parents working for systematic change in schools that serve low-income neighborhoods of color. I led our organization's role as a primary partner on the Health Impact Assessment discussed in this abstract about school discipline policies in Los Angeles, and can provide first-hand information about the process and outcomes of the HIA.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.