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kross825's picture

My freshmen year of high school, one of my friends was asked to leave due to inappropriate behavior. Shortly after he was asked to leave, two more guys from his friend group were also expelled. I went to a Catholic high school with strict rules on drugs and proper behavior. I stayed friendly with the three boys that left and saw them around from time to time. By the time we were seniors, two of the three boys had dropped out of the public school they attended. Both of these boys were involved in heavy drug use and spent time with a "dangerous" crowd. The year that I graduated high school, one of the boys was in prison and the other was in the hospital. The boy in prison had been dealing cocaine and got caught. Today, he is still in and out of prison, living on various friends' couches. The other boy, the one in the hospital, was shot in the head during a drug deal gone bad. He has yet to go to college and still suffers from his head injury.

One of my best friends in high school, a smart and active student, was also threatened with expulsion. Our senior year of high school she was caught doing cocaine in the bathroom. My school had recently changed its "no tolerance" policy, and she was not kicked out. Instead, she had to meet with the principal weekly and submit drug tests biweekly. After graduation, she moved to California and is in school for architecture. 

Comparing the cases of my different friends, I can't help but wonder what would have happened if my guy friends were given similar access to education. 


ckennedy's picture

Just out of curiosity, why do you think the students were giving such different punishments? Do you think it was a female male thing or something else?

Serendip Guest's picture

The boys were asked to leave my freshmen year and after seeing the negative effect it had on their lives my school changed its policy. It is interesting to the of the issue in terms of genders though!

jccohen's picture


Expulsion from school carries a strong message, and in private schools there's no obligation for the the school to aid with a transition to another educational institution.  Although the expression "school-to-prison pipeline" usually refers to institutional channeling of poor or low-income students and often students of color in public schools run like prison (with metal detectors, guards in the hallways, etc.), I'm struck by how these young men seem similarly to have been let down by schooling that expelled rather than worked with them.  And I'm curious about whether you can envision alternative scenarios whereby the school might have worked to support these young men in changing their problematic behaviors...  In fact, in your comment above you note that the school 'changed its policy'; in what way, and what do you think?  Is it the job of schools whether public or private to figure out how to work with diverse individuals in order to help them maintain "access"?