Covid 19 and the Virtual School to Prison Pipeline

Loyola Children's Legal Rights Journal, Vol. 41, Iss. 2

31 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2021 Last revised: 17 Aug 2022

See all articles by Victor M. Jones

Victor M. Jones

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

Date Written: June 8, 2021


This article explores the use of exclusionary discipline practices in the era of virtual school instruction, or the “virtual” school-to-prison pipeline. Part I provides an overview of exclusionary discipline practices, how these practices impact students who are subjected to them, and the disproportionate use of these practices against students of color and students with disabilities. Part II will discuss virtual school discipline in the era of the pandemic, analyzing cases of children who have garnered national attention for receiving suspensions and/or expulsions for their alleged behavior during virtual school instruction. Part III will provide a discussion of the legal issues arising out of virtual school discipline, focusing on the potential and actual constitutional and civil rights violations resulting from the use of exclusionary practices. Lastly, Part IV will give recommendations to school districts for balancing the need to provide virtual instruction in the midst of a global pandemic with the need to cultivate a safe learning environment, while following the mandate to protect the civil rights of traditionally marginalized groups of children.

Keywords: education, education law, race, disability, schools, equity, school-to-prison pipeline, school discipline, disparity, COVID-19, education policy

JEL Classification: I2, I20, I21, I24, I28, K00, K19, K30, K39, K4, K41, Z18

Suggested Citation

Jones, Victor, Covid 19 and the Virtual School to Prison Pipeline (June 8, 2021). Loyola Children's Legal Rights Journal, Vol. 41, Iss. 2, Available at SSRN:

Victor Jones (Contact Author)

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund ( email )

Washington, DC 04401
United States

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