Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline

School’s out, but educational advocates are hard at work to dismantle the school to prison pipeline. Gwinnett SToPP has a long history of serving the Gwinnett County communities and advocating for equity. Marlyn Tillman recently released a statement that the organization will be preparing for year two of their ending the school to prison pipeline project in partnership with the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities.

Black boys won’t be saved in schools if civic engagement isn’t happening!

This is a win for educational advocates and the Gwinnett community. Especially for Black and Brown families. Advocates in the Metro Atlanta area are often looked at troublemakers by school districts. But every year, more and more traditional public school districts are pushing more and more Black boys out of schools, into alternative programs and eventually into jails.

So who’s really the bad guy here? School systems that create bias policies to push out children of color or parents advocating for an equitable, fair education for their children?

As a Black male educator, I believe that advocacy is something that needs to be taken more seriously by school districts, leaders and parents. The Black community is partly asleep to what’s really happening to Black boys because it’s been happening so long it’s become the norm. Several of my Black male students have older brothers, fathers, grandfathers and other black males within their family who experienced the same struggles in school as they are now. It’s a heartbreaking generational curse that is cast over Black boys telling them they don’t deserve to succeed.

Black boys deserve to have the chance to be academically successful too!

Gwinnett SToPP offers a solution to this by helping dismantle the school to prison pipeline. I have always supported the organization because they also believe that family and community engagement is key to changing how children of color are educated in American public traditional schools. The biggest challenge is many Black parents don’t even know or see how it’s happening to their child.

In a recent statement, Tillman discusses how the second phase of
Gwinnett SToPP‘s project will be training and technical assistance. The training curriculum will include steps on how to be an effective advocate; local school policy; federal and state education policies and laws; and the lived experiences of students and parents.  Parents and stakeholders have the power to ensure Black boys are being given the chance at success.

Metro Atlanta is certainly making a dent in the oppressive and discriminatory policies and practices of traditional public school districts.
Gwinnett SToPP‘s training and technical assistance is designed to increase participants’ capacity to become effective advocates for their students and families within the public school systems, particularly, within the DeKalb and Gwinnett systems. Advocacy groups help parents of Black boys truly getter a educational better option that’s doesn’t lead their son to a cell block.


Gwinnett SToPP is a great example of a non profit working to promote better outcomes for those students most affected by the school to prison pipeline. Teachers and students should also be supported and empowered to stand with parents and advocates on dismantling a system that continues the genocide of Black boys.


Marlyn Tillman, Executive Director/Co-Founder Gwinnett Parent Coalition to Dismantle the School to Prison Pipeline (Gwinnett SToPP) can be reached at
m[email protected] www.GwinnettSToPP.org

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Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.

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