New MO Law Could Require a Felony Charge for Fighting

A change in Missouri law that went into effect in January 2017 could be applied to students, increasing the effects of the school-to-prison pipeline. The change in the law relates to fighting, harassment, and causing emotional distress, and it allows for prosecutors to apply felony charges. Students could be affected due to Missouri’s mandatory reporting laws in schools. Previous research shows that Missouri’s school discipline policies tend to exclude students - primarily students of color - and encourage dropouts. Zero tolerance policies at the school level exacerbate these problems. The racial component of the enforcement of such policies amounts to institutionalized racism. 

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