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.
Monday, May 20 2013 8:21 PM EDT2013-05-21 00:21:00 GMT
Jackson Police are investigating a homicide in west Jackson Monday after a body was discovered inside a residence on Arbor Vista Boulevard. According to Officer Colendula Green with JPD, officers haveMore >>
Jackson police have released the identity of the man found dead in a west Jackson house Monday morning.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 >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 2:01 AM EDT2013-05-21 06:01:07 GMT
(RNN) – A day after long track tornadoes devastated Shawnee and Edmond, OK, another round has begun near Oklahoma City.KOCO broadcast a slow rotating cloud that slowly extended down towards the groundMore >>
At least 51 have died in a storm the National Weather Service described as large and violent.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 7:22 PM EDT2013-05-20 23:22:22 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 are mixed with living animals in small, dark, filthy enclosures.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 9:37 PM EDT2013-05-21 01:37:07 GMT
A body discovered in Clinton Saturday night has led to a homicide investigation. Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham Stewart confirms a body was discovered, although few other details are known. The bodyMore >>
Clinton Police Department's Interim Chief Mike Warren said upon further investigation, it appears a disagreement over a woman may have led to the death of a Jackson man.
Monday, May 20 2013 2:26 PM EDT2013-05-20 18:26:49 GMT
Hinds County sheriff's deputies seized five pounds of marijuana and made two arrests as the result of a three-month investigation. Sheriff's office officials say the northeast Jackson investigation isMore >>
Hinds County sheriff's deputies seized five pounds of marijuana and made two arrests as the result of a three-month investigation.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 11:48 PM EDT2013-05-21 03:48:15 GMT
A woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her four young daughters out of their home for days at a time.A witness told police that the four girls, ages 7, 5, 3 and 1, had been in the same dirtyMore >>
A woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her four young daughters out of their home for days at a time.More >>
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department. More >>
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 4:58 PM EDT2013-05-20 20:58:33 GMT
For Trooper First Class Kervin Stewart, law enforcement, specifically the highway patrol, has always been a passion. "I just enjoy being a trooper. I like the freedom and the ability to interact withMore >>
For Trooper First Class Kervin Stewart, law enforcement, specifically the highway patrol, has always been a passion.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 12:10 PM EDT2013-05-20 16:10:06 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Arlington High School senior Taylor Flake thought she was making history when her classmates elected her to be the school's first African-American class president. "It's more than just me representingMore >>
Arlington High School senior Taylor Flake thought she was making history when her classmates elected her to be the school's first African-American class president.
So when the school started planning for the commencement, Flake said she was shocked to find out that she was not among those chosen to speak.More >>
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