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The Student Expulsion Prevention Project (StEPP) is expanding to the Racine Unified School District this fall, thanks to a grant from the State Bar of Wisconsin and Forward Community Investments.

StEPP is a pilot project created by the State Public Defender (SPD) to help dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline for all students, but particularly for students of color. It recruits and trains pro bono attorneys to represent students facing expulsion in Dane and Milwaukee counties. Since its inception, it has helped approximately 75 children stay in school.

On September 20th, StEPP will host an all-day training event in Racine for local attorneys who are interested in becoming pro bono attorneys with the StEPP – Racine project. The training will cover the need for the project, adolescent brain development, interviewing the child client, cultural humility, and the nuts and bolts of an expulsion case.

If you have any questions about the project, please feel free to contact Mckenna Kohlenberg at