Free To Learn Project

The Free To Learn Project is an awareness campaign organized to inform the general public about the current school-to-prison pipeline.

Our Story

In March of 2012, our daughter, Hannah, a freshman at James River High School in Chesterfield County Virginia, was taken from school to the county juvenile center and kept overnight. She was charged with 2 counts of aggravated assault, 1 count of disorderly conduct, and 1 count assault on a police officer, which is a class 6 felony in the state of Virginia. She was sentenced to 1 month house arrest where she wore an ankle monitor and got 26 weeks community service.

The above charges are the technical terms used to describe Hannah's actions that day, which was actually throwing the first punch in a fight, cursing, and pulling away from the school police officer when he tried to break it up. Whether the charges and punishment fit the actions or not is for anyone reading this to decide, however, this is how every school system and police officer react to such an incident regardless of the backstory....[READ MORE]

The Government's Psychotic War On School Children

In 1994, federal legislation enacted the Zero Tolerance policy in schools which sanctioned the immediate punishment by suspension of students who violated school rules, regardless of how menial or minor the infraction. It is understood that there would be no chances given...[READ MORE]

School Suspensions Statistics

The logic behind school suspensions is flawed for obvious reasons. Suspending a child from school sets the child behind in schoolwork and socially ostracizes the child from his peer group. For many children, this will lower their confidence level and fuel any already anger issues they may have inside...[READ MORE]

School To Jail: A Theory Not Working

Taking a child from his or her desk and friends at school and locking them in a jail cell is a traumatic experience for any child. Even for adults the sudden change in environment is a shock and brings a serious reality check...[READ MORE]

School-To-Prison Pipeline

The grassroots efforts of the Free To Learn Project is currently challenging the local school districts of central Virginia to address the issue of student suspensions by lowering the rates, eliminating any forms of arrest made by law enforcement by challenging the "Referral to Law Enforcement" policy encoded into all Virginia school's student code of conduct handbooks.

Alternative Solutions
Stay Encouraged and Fight the System

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Stay Encouraged and Fight the System

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Support Outreach

Note: The Free To Learn Project request the following:

  1. We challenge you to lower the suspension rate to zero.
  2. We request 3-day suspensions (if suspension is absolutely necessary) instead of 10-day suspensions.
  3. We request mediation with the child and the childs parents before suspension.
  4. We request two (2) firm warnings before actual arrest.