Terminology List

Colonialism is the policy or practice of dominating by acquiring full or partial political control over another country’s land, resources and its people, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically

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)

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.

School Resource Officers (SRO) Any law enforcement officer permanently assigned to work in a school or set of schools. Currently, in some localities, they are sworn, or certified law enforcement officers employed by city police departments and sheriff offices.

School-to-Deportation Pipeline is a set of school policies and practices in which students are pushed out of schools into the juvenile and criminal justice system and eventually into immigration procedures (or at risk of) that lead to the deportation process

School-to-Prison Pipeline is a set of school policies and practices in which students are pushed out of schools into the juvenile and criminal justice system

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)

White Supremacy a historically based, institutionally perpetuated system of exploitation and oppression of continents, nations, and BIPOC (Black, Indigineous and other people of color) by white people and nations of the European continent, for the purpose of creating,maintaining and defending a system of wealth, power, and privilege. 

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.

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