ACLU addresses school to prison pipeline in latest report

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- The American Civil Liberties Union says Nebraska's school police programs disproportionately affect students of color and students with disabilities.

The ACLU of Nebraska released a report Thursday that says such programs fuel a "school to prison" pipeline. The report cites several cases where police were called, including one involving brothers in elementary school yelling at each other.

Rose Godinez is the ACLU's legal and policy counsel for Nebraska. She tells the Omaha World-Herald that as a result of having a permanent police presence in schools, children are far more likely to face school-based arrests for disciplinary matters than they were a generation ago.

The report found that more than 1,500 students in public schools with school police were referred to law enforcement during the 2015-16 school year.

The report notes that some schools have police but no counselor, social worker or nurse.