When Polly Windham's daughter was suspend from her Jones County school last Fall, she says the punishment didn't fit the crime, especially since her daughter was the victim.
"I think it's absurd," said Windham.
Windham says her daughter, at fifteen, was being bullied and when she tried to walk away that's when a fight happened. Windham says her daughter was taken to a juvenile detention center where she spent the night and was suspended three days from school. A judge eventually threw out the case.
"It was really a traumatic experience, not only for my daughter but for me," said Windham.
It's that type of situation the Mississippi ACLU is working to get rid of. Titled 'Handcuffs on Success,' a new report claims too often school districts use excessive punishment for minor and expected adolescent behavior.
"The results are alarming. They weren't surprising," said Bear Atwood, legal director with the Mississippi ACLU.
Atwood says that type of extreme discipline contributes to a school to prison pipeline.
"It doesn't mean that there shouldn't be consequences. Of course we want to teach our children to behave appropriately, but arresting them and sending them to detention centers is not the way to accomplish that," said Atwood.
Atwood is hoping policy makers pay attention to the report and create better zero tolerance policies. According to the report, Mississippi schools have higher suspension rates than neighboring states and is nearly two times higher than the national average.
"Harsh disciplinary policies do not improve safety. They do not improve behavior," said Atwood.
"Children are going to be children and there are going to be small altercations, pushing and shoving, you hit me and I hit you back; does that really classify jail," said Windham.
Late last year the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit against the city of Meridian, Lauderdale County, two youth court judges, the state and two state agencies. The suit claims those entities routinely arrest and incarcerate children without procedural safeguards.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 9:55 AM EDT2013-05-22 13:55:17 GMT
The votes are in, and preliminary results show Chokwe Lumumba has come out on top in the Democratic Party Runoff Election against Jonathan Lee. With 100% of precincts reporting, Lumumba claims the electionMore >>
The votes are in and preliminary results show Chokwe Lumumba has come out on top in the Democratic Party Runoff Election against Jonathan Lee.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:21 PM EDT2013-05-21 22:21:59 GMT
James Hutto interrupted his own capital murder trial Tuesday morning, angry that judge Bill Gowan decided against the admissibility of certain evidence. "None of that matters? F***. I don't give a f***More >>
James Hutto, accused of capital murder in the beating death of 81-year-old Ethel Winstead Simpson of Clinton, expressed anger over certain evidence in court Tuesday.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:34 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:34:41 GMT
NOTE: Photos and videos will be added to this story later in the evening. The Walthall County Sheriffs Department along with The Humane Society of the United States are in the process of raiding a puppyMore >>
Among the dogs, many are dead, and skeletal remains were mixed with living animals in small, dark, filthy enclosures.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:35 PM EDT2013-05-21 22:35:19 GMT
The Mississippi Tea Party carried a nationwide protest of the IRS to the streets of downtown Jackson at high noon. The issue, IRS security of conservative groups like the tea party. We found some 20-25More >>
The Mississippi Tea Party carried a nationwide protest of the IRS to the streets of downtown Jackson at high noon. The issue is IRS security of conservative groups like the Tea Party. More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:15 AM EDT2013-05-22 14:15:20 GMT
The storm system from Oklahoma is moving eastward Tuesday night. A Tornado Watch is in effect for Humphreys, Attala and Holmes counties until 10 p.m. Tuesday. The brunt of the action will stay northMore >>
A weaker version of the storms that hit Oklahoma is now slowly working its way through Mississippi, but not with as much punch.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >>
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:04 AM EDT2013-05-22 15:04:51 GMT
A Tylertown man is charged with animal cruelty in connection to that suspected puppy mill in Walthall Co. More than 100 of the rescued animals are now at the Humane Society of South MS.More >>
A Tylertown man is charged with animal cruelty in connection to that suspected puppy mill in Walthall County. Sheriff's officials say James Thornhill, 72, turned himself in Tuesday and was released on his own recognizance. Meanwhile, 102 of the animals rescued Monday are now getting a lot of TLC at the Humane Society of South Mississippi.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 7:50 PM EDT2013-05-21 23:50:30 GMT
Oklahoma Meteorologists say a killer tornado dwarfs the power of the Hiroshima bomb. To survive a tornado, a tornado shelter can come in handy.T.J. Halford has had a tornado shelter since 2006. He is anMore >>
Oklahoma Meteorologists say a killer tornado dwarfs the power of the Hiroshima bomb. To survive a tornado, a tornado shelter can come in handy.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 2:15 PM EDT2013-05-21 18:15:12 GMT
The two men battling for the chance to become Jackson's next mayor campaigned into the night as voters prepared to go to the polls for Tuesday's democratic primary runoff. On the WLBT 6pm report, we talkedMore >>
The two leading men battling for the chance to become Jackson's next mayor campaigned into the night as voters prepared to go to the polls for Tuesday's Democratic Primary runoff.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:35 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:35:44 GMT
Linda Gale Reed is accused of stealing over $20,000 from her employer in Copiah County, Moore Fabrication. That's what led investigators to change her status from missing to wanted during their 2012 searchMore >>
Linda Gale Reed is accused of stealing over $20,000 from her employer in Copiah County, Moore Fabrication. That's what led investigators to change her status from "missing" to "wanted" during their 2012 search following her disappearance.More >>
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