COVID-19 and the 'Virtual' School-to-Prison Pipeline
Loyola Children's Legal Rights Journal, Vol. 41, Iss. 2
30 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2021
Date Written: June 08, 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: Suggested Citation