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Mississippi Judge Wants School Districts to Stop Feeding the School-to-Prison Pipeline

By Victor Trammell

In Jackson County, Mississippi, a juvenile District Court judge got sick and tired of the local school district spoon feeding children to her courtroom over what she called “minor violations.”

According to the Hechinger Report, Judge Sharon Sigalas (pictured) took action over what many are calling the “school-to-prison pipeline.” This ill-fated pattern that is being encouraged by the prison-industrial complex sends a very dangerous message to the masses about our society.

Judge Sigalas obviously understands this and took action against the penal system’s war machine being unleashed on our nation’s youth. Before the 2016-17 school year began, the 13-year veteran on the bench wrote a forceful letter to the school boards of the four districts that fall under her judicial jurisdiction.

The letter urged school administrators to only send school children to her courtroom for serious offenses, such as drug or weapons possession, assault on teachers or other students causing bodily harm, or any $exual offenses, which fall under the classification of a criminal violation.

“We don’t need to be the babysitter for kids the school determines are disruptive,” Sigalas told Hechinger Report correspondent Sierra Mannie.

Sigalas said that minor offenses, including dress code violations, disruptive behavior, or any other minor violation should be solely handled by the schools. She believes that punishment for these offenses should be determined by school administrators, not the courts.

Sigalas also told Mannie in her interview that she feels the school districts have gotten the strong message, which she stressed in her letter before the beginning of the current school year.

“The schools are (now) really receptive to the idea,” Sigalas added. “They understand that kids need to be in school, not in jail,” she continued.

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