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There’s a link between school discipline policies and students who enter the justice system. Folks call it the school-to-prison pipeline.

Mid-City Community Advocacy Network, or Mid-City CAN, is a City Heights-based organization that advocates for restorative justice, a new approach to school discipline that hopes to disrupt that flow.

On this week’s podcast, Diana Ross, executive director of Mid-City CAN, joined co-hosts Laura Kohn and Mario Koran, who sat in for Scott Lewis, to talk about the organization’s efforts to keep more students in school.

“The kids who continue to get expelled and suspended are still majority kids of color. … There’s a huge disparity,” Ross said.

She said San Diego Unified School District recently announced its plan for a districtwide rollout of a restorative justice program.

Kohn and Koran also discuss a speech about school discipline that Nancy Hanks, chief of elementary schools in Madison, Wis., gave to Teach for America alumni.

Got thoughts, opinions or experiences with this? Call 619-354-1085 and leave your name, neighborhood and story so we can play the voicemail on future episodes.

Number of the Week

34 percent: That’s how much suspensions in San Diego County dropped in three years, between the 2011-2012 school year and the 2014-2015 school year.

What’s Working

The National Conflict Resolution Center and the Old Globe Theatre partnered to bring Anna Deavere Smith to San Diego for a preview performance of her stage show about the school-to-prison pipeline. Also, a quick correction, Kohn says Deavere visited Lincoln and Crawford high schools. The visits actually happened at Lincoln and Hoover.

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Rachel Evans

Rachel Evans is a reporter for Voice of San Diego. She can be reached at

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