Parties rarely settle their dispute after the Supreme Court has agreed to hear their appeal and the case is scheduled for oral argument. Yet the parties in Mount Holly v. Mount Holly Gardens Citizens in Action Inc. did. Just weeks before their oral arguments would begin on December 4, 2013, Mount Holly Township settled its housing discrimination dispute with Mount Holly Gardens. Both sides settled late November 13, 2013. Why, after advocating at each level of appeal and finally receiving a highly sought after slot for oral argument in front of the Nation’s highest court, would these parties settle?
On January 24th, 2014 a fifteen-year old boy from Wake, North Carolina was handcuffed by a security guard for skipping the lunch line at his high school. While the innocent action likely could have been resolved with a verbal admonishment, the incident escalated when the security guard approached the teen, twisted his arm, pushed him against the wall and led him out of the cafeteria in handcuffs. In addition to the assault, the student was subsequently suspended for three days . Incidents like this are extreme examples of a growing, disturbing national trend called the school to prison pipeline. Many consider the school to prison pipeline an intentional and conscious attempt by school administrators to funnel “troublesome” students out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems.