MSCM graduates secure a $35,000 federal grant through the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities


KENNESAW, Ga. (Mar 1, 2018) — John Lash, MSCM 2012, and Beth Staton, MSCM 2017, secured a $35,000 federal grant through the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) to conduct a project focused on the “School to Prison Pipeline.” This award covers the first of a five-year project which will include developing and implementing interventions. Lash and Staton’s project is an innovative design that blends restorative justice principles and a collective impact framework into a stakeholder-focused research model. Through Georgia Conflict Center in Athens, these MSCM graduates will work with collaborators and stakeholders throughout the state to: (1) research the overlapping impact of school discipline policies, developmental disabilities, and the juvenile justice system; and (2) provide analysis and recommendations to GCDD for four additional years of intervention development and implementation.

Grant title: Disrupting the School to Prison Pipeline

Funding agency: Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities, authorized by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; the Administration for Human Living; and the U.S. Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000. The GCDD works to bring the latest knowledge and resources to those who can put it to the best use, including self-advocates, families, service providers, and policymakers.

Amount of grant: $35,000

Funding period: Year one of a five-year project

A description of the purpose and potential impact:
On a national level, the Developmental Disabilities network has become increasingly concerned with school discipline policies and the problem of the “school to prison pipeline.” The so-called pipeline refers to the way in which certain students are “pushed out” of educational environments and “pushed in” to the justice system. In 2016, the Office of Civil Rights reported that black students are 3.8 times more likely to be suspended than white students. Further, students with disabilities are more than twice as likely to be suspended as students without disabilities. Additionally, the long-term impact of a school suspension is correlated with significant negative outcomes. A kindergartner who receives even a brief suspension is significantly more likely to become involved with the juvenile justice system, and more than 10 times more likely to drop out of high school.