Mississippi ACLU calls attention to Zero Tolerance Policies - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Mississippi ACLU calls attention to Zero Tolerance Policies abuse

A new report claims Mississippi schools are abusing zero tolerance policies.

Mississippi schools are routinely kicking kids out of school, and even having them arrested for offenses as simple as dress code violations, according to the Program Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi Nancy Kohsin Kintigh.

According to Kintigh, this is a nationwide problem, but the zero tolerance abuse rates are highest in the Magnolia State. The report was produced through a partnership between the ACLU of Mississippi, the Mississippi State Conference of the NAACP, and The Advancement Project out of Washington.

Kintigh says the policies were created to protect students, but now it is being used to target children and punish them for normal student misbehavior.

"There is some great racial disparities between discipline situations with white and black students. I think it is because we really have not been able to bring this issue to the forefront of all of the issues that our students are facing today. It is critical that we begin to address student disciplinary issues in a much different manner here in the state of Mississippi," said Kintigh.

Tuesday, January 15, students from all over the state will go to the capitol to meet with legislators and present them with the "Mississippi Student Bill of Rights." On Thursday, January 17, the full report will be released during a news conference at 11 a.m. at the state capitol.

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