Tavis Smiley Reports: Education Under Arrest

About This Episode

Schools throughout the country have become key entry points into the juvenile justice system. In fact, one in three teens arrested is arrested in school. Today, according to experts and advocates working on behalf of at-risk teens, too often, disciplinary problems that in prior generations were handled within the school, such as disruptive behavior, foul language and truancy, are dealt with through suspension, expulsion and arrests.

Too many schools, both public and charter, still operate under the so-called “Zero Tolerance” mandate, which came about after the horrifying Columbine tragedy. This has resulted in kids being removed from school as a first response rather than a last resort. And once kids are suspended or expelled from school, it’s very difficult to get them back on track.

Tavis Smiley Reports: "Education Under Arrest," the second in a series of education specials, looks at the efforts by those on the frontlines of reform to examine what is working to break the school-to-prison pipeline and keep teens from incarceration and in school. As Judge Jimmie Edwards of St. Louis tells Tavis, “I truly believe as an appointed judge, I can stand up and say lock ‘em up and throw away the key is not the answer. I truly believe we need to educate them.” "Education Under Arrest" investigates successful initiatives to do just that.