How Tough is too Tough? How rocketing school suspensions nationwide may feed the school-to-prison pipeline – and even violate civil rights, a special report by Monitor education reporter .

Photos: (top)Mercedes Morgan, a senior at Ralph J. Bunche Academy, an Oakland, Calif., alternative school for students with disciplinary records, listens in as the school’s restorative justice coordinator, Eric Butler (r.), talks by phone with her mother. Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor

(bottom) Indicating he’s done answering a question, Oakland High School student Jesse Baldain III passes a ball to the instructor in his manhood-development class. Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor

Graphics by Rich Clabaugh/The Christian Science Monitor