Pushout refers to the numerous and systemic factors that prevent or discourage young people from remaining on track to complete their education and has severe and lasting consequences for students, parents, schools, and communities. These factors include, among others, the failure to provide essential components of a high quality education, lack of stakeholder participation in decision-making, over-reliance on zero-tolerance practices and punitive measures such as suspensions and expulsions, over-reliance on law enforcement tactics and ceding of disciplinary authority to law enforcement personnel, and a history of systemic racism and inequality. These factors have an impact on all students, but have a disproportionate impact on historically disenfranchised youth.
A zero-tolerance discipline policy is a school discipline policy or practice that results in an automatic disciplinary consequence such as in-school or out-of-school suspension, expulsion, or involuntary school transfer for any student who commits one or more listed offenses. A school discipline policy may be a zero-tolerance policy even if administrators have some discretion to modify the consequence on a case-by-case basis.
Criminalization is the labeling of an individual or group, his or her activities, culture and/or identity as deviant, dangerous and undesirable and the corresponding suppression of that individual or group by authorities. Criminalized people and populations do not need to engage in illegal or harmful behavior to be treated as criminals but are regularly targeted for surveillance, police stops and frisks and questioning, and school suspension and expulsion. Criminalization often extends beyond police and court systems to impact the larger society’s perception and treatment of the individual or group. (Adapted from Youth Justice Coalition definition)
Human rights are necessary for people to live life in freedom, dignity and equality, and to have their basic needs met. Human rights apply to every person equally no matter where they come from simply because they are human beings. The U.S. civil rights movement is part of a human rights movement to fight for civil rights to equality and freedom from discrimination, as well as economic and social rights to education, work, health and housing. (Adapted from NESRI and CADRE definition)
A social movement is the mass mobilization and self-organization of powerless people in order to gain or secure their rights. It is composed of defiant local mobilizations connected to other local movements with similar aims by formal and informal networks of information and support. It surmounts the expectations, plans and instructions of formal leadership and existing organizations by acting spontaneously, taking risks, and behaving unpredictably. (Social Justice Leadership definition)