The fight to dismantle the pipeline has proven to be as complex and ever-changing as the pipeline itself. Efforts to reform district-wide codes of conduct, work with school district officials to adopt restorative justice programs, and reduce the presence of law enforcement in schools have often been met with increased surveillance measures and persistent racial disproportionality. Stated another way, the total number of suspensions may go down, but Black kids are still over-represented in the suspensions that do continue to occur.

For a long time, the federal government endorsed the zero-tolerance approach that has made the “school-to-prison pipeline” such a tragic reality in so many lives. The Nixon Administration started the War on Drugs, the Reagan Administration strengthened it, and the Clinton Administration’s enactment of the 1994 Crime Bill led to thousands and thousands of police officers occupying the hallways of schools across the country.

The Departments of Education & Justice of the Obama Administration issued guidance on how school districts are required to not discriminate in school discipline to comply with federal law. Even with this helpful guidance, the Obama Administration continued to pour millions of dollars into school policing across the country. Additionally, when the Trump Administration took power, it immediately targeted the Obama Administration’s guidance and sought to discredit it as much as possible.

All of this – the growth of the “school-to-prison pipeline” and the fight to do away with it – has led to this moment. Tens of thousands of school police officers patrol hallways across the country, hundreds of thousands of young people continue to be suspended and expelled each academic year, and multiple generations continue to suffer.

The Safe & Supportive Schools Campaign is orchestrated by The Safe & Supportive Schools Collaborative of Houston which is a collective effort to reform school discipline policy in the Greater Houston region. The Collaborative is a group, that shares a vision of a Houston-area public school system that fosters positive school climates, so all students can learn, graduate, and live up to their full potential. The Safe & Supportive Schools Collaborative is a collective effort to reform school discipline policy; reduce exclusionary school discipline practices; and eliminate the criminalization of student behavior that disrupts students’ learning and educational environment.


Goals and objectives of the Safe & Supportive Schools Campaign include:

Organizations involved in the Safe & Supportive Schools Campaign are:

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