Research finds they are referred to law enforcement and arrested more than any other group.
The study, conducted by researchers at the university’s S.J. Quinney College of Law Public Policy Clinic, found that Native American students in Utah are disciplined far more harshly than their peers. They’re almost eight times more likely to be referred to law enforcement and six times more likely to be arrested than white students, far out of proportion to the size of the population.
The result is a phenomenon known in education circles as the “school-to-prison pipeline,” whereby zero tolerance disciplinary policies that disproportionately target minority students funnel them out of school and into juvenile justice programs.
“A lot of these policies have the best intentions,” Vanessa Walsh, the report’s primary author, said. “We have to keep our schools safe. But it's having consequences that I don't think anyone anticipated.”