Advancement Project has created a set of tools to assist and guide on-the-ground efforts to dismantle the schoolhouse to jailhouse track.

Check back often for updates and additional materials and contact [email protected] with any questions or request for assistance.


This is our revised Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Action Kit, aimed at helping advocates organize campaigns against the overuse of zero tolerance school discipline and the growing reliance on police and juvenile courts as disciplinarians. It provides guidance on how to break down the schoolhouse to jailhouse track by: collecting information and data about school discipline policies and practices; analyzing and organizing the data; and developing messages that resonate with your audience.


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There are alternatives to zero tolerance that have been proven highly effective in addressing school-based misconduct, promoting a positive school climate, and making schools safe. These prevention and intervention strategies range from the most simple classroom teaching techniques to comprehensive school-wide and community-based programs.



Many school districts have discipline policies that contribute to the schoolhouse to jailhouse track.  Rewriting these policies is often an essential step to creating a more consistent, fair, and effective disciplinary system.  Community organizations, parents, and students have a critically important role to play in the formation of these policies.  This section provides recommendations on the key factors to consider in writing or revising a school discipline policy, and examples from existing policies.
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Here is a sample discipline policy that incorporates the key factors described in the "Best Practices" document. As an actual discipline policy, it lists potential disruptive and inappropriate behavior and provides responses and consequences for each. Districts could easily use this policy without making changes, except for complying with any state or local laws.


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In recent years, there have been several promising changes in state school discipline law.   This section has some examples that may serve as models for other states.


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It can be helpful to develop “talking points” before going into a meeting, speaking at a press conference, or even recruiting people to join your effort. Talking points also allow allies and other people new to a campaign who are less directly connected to the issue to be able to grasp your message and understand the issue better. This section contains general talking points, but it may be helpful to supplement them with more specific information that focuses on how the issue has played out in your city or school district.