Join the Dignity in Schools Campaign Today!

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- Dignity in Schools Campaign Principles of Unity
- Joining DSC as an Organizational Member
- Joining DSC as an Individual Member
- Joining DSC as an Endorser

The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) challenges the systemic problem of pushout in our nation's schools and advocates for the human right of every child to a quality education and to be treated with dignity. The DSC unites parents, youth, educators and advocates in campaigns to promote local and national alternatives to a culture of zero-tolerance, punishment and removal.

The DSC started over five years ago when local grassroots and advocacy groups fighting to end school pushout came together to share information and strategies and build a common framework for dignity and human rights in our schools.  In 2009, we held our first national conference, released the National Resolution for Ending School Pushout, and shared the first draft of a Model School Code based on fundamental human rights principles. In 2010 we held our first annual National Week of Action and our first Days at the Capitol, engaging groups around the country in collective advocacy to impact federal law and policy. In 2011, as our campaign continued to grow, we began a process to develop our membership structures to secure grassroots leadership in the coalition. 

The DSC has now grown into a multi-stakeholder coalition made up of youth, parents, educators, grassroots groups, and policy and legal advocacy groups, which strives to ensure that those most affected by the education system and school pushout are at the center of our work and leadership structures. DSC’s Membership is structured to create a space for all to both contribute to the work and to benefit from the collective advancements of the coalition and local successes of its members. 


Join DSC today as an:

1. Organizational Member,

2. Individual Member, or

3. Endorser 

Download the application packet here.


As a member you can get involved in our work:

  • Participate in our annual National Week of Action on School Pushout and Days at the Capitol,
  • Join our Working Groups to support local grassroots campaigns and federal policy change,
  • Attend our Annual Membership Meetings and Convenings to learn from other members and build collective strategies,
  • Participate in webinars to build communication skills, learn about human rights and engage in other opportunities for skill-building and sharing, or
  • Join or start a Local Chapter in your community.
     

 

DSC Working Group Descriptions
The Local/State Working Group The goals of the working group are to: 1) Support and connect local organizing campaigns around pushout; and 2) Connect local campaigns to federal legislative work on pushout, especially ESEA/NCLB reauthorization.

The Model Code Working Group The goals of the working group are to: 1) Promote implementation of the DSC Model Code – a consolidated list of policy recommendations for how to change the policies and practices that are pushing young people out of schools; and 2) Support DSC members in using the Model Code in local campaigns communities, parents, youth and educators to implement best practices for positive school discipline.



DSC Principles of Unity

As DSC members, we make our best efforts to apply the following Principles of Unity to our work together:

  1. We challenge the systemic problem of pushout in our nation's schools and promote local and national alternatives to a culture of zero-tolerance, criminalization, punishment and removal.
  2. We advocate for the human rights of all young people to a quality education, to be treated with dignity, to be free from discrimination and to participate in decision-making that effects their education.
  3. Our coalition is made up of multiple stakeholder groups—youth, parents, educators, and advocates—and we strive to be led by people most affected by school pushout and zero-tolerance discipline: youth who have been suspended, expelled, pushed out or criminalized, and their families. We work with each other to expand our knowledge base and shift power to those most affected.
  4. We make sure that our members, and especially those most affected, own and make decisions about their stories, their analysis, their solutions, and their victories.
  5. We are building a strong, clear, and explicit analysis in our work at all levels, intentionally examining issues such as race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, immigration status, ability, religion, language and age. We regularly self reflect and evaluate our practices as we seek to challenge injustice, be it in ourselves, our organizations, our communities, or our movement.
  6. We put movement identity ahead of organizational identity. We are building a common set of political goals and strategies appropriate to building the leadership, participation, and influence of those most affected.
  7. Leadership development occurs at all times.  We are not led by individual, charismatic leaders, but we have an accountable model of power sharing, power conscious, and collective leadership ethic.
  8. We support our work together by sharing information, knowledge, skills, relationships, funding strategies and opportunities, visibility, access, and political wisdom.


Definitions: 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.

A 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.

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, 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)

A 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)


Joining DSC as an Organizational Member

Download the application packet here or apply online here.

Benefits of Organizational Membership in DSC

Responsibilities of Org. Membership in DSC

- Vote on major campaign decisions and in Coordinating Committee elections

- Be eligible for nomination to DSC’s Coordinating Committee-

- Participate in Monthly Membership and Working Group meetings

- Participate in drafting and review of policy recommendations, campaign statements and publications

- Attend DSC events, including convenings, Annual Membership Meeting and Days at the Capitol

- Increased visibility in DSC materials, including website and e-newsletter

- Access and/or contribute to data and research on best practices compiled by DSC and members

- Access to:

  • Apply for travel scholarships to attend DSC events
  • Apply for member support funds (including DSC Member Support Fund and DSC Week of Action Fund)

*Each year, to the maximum extent possible, a portion of DSC national funding goes to directly support the work of local groups to feed the on-the-ground movement and work, including through reimbursement for local activities related to the work of DSC, funding and opportunities for leadership development, funding for local, regional and national face to face meetings, and other types of support

- Access to other member support from DSC staff, including communications support; data analysis support; fundraising support; training opportunities and other resources

- Basic requirements for membership include:

  • Sign on to DSC National Resolution for Ending School Pushout and DSC Principles of Unity
  • Participate in at least 50% of the 12 calendared Monthly Membership calls OR 50% of at least one Working Group’s monthly calls within a year
  • Attend Annual Membership Meeting (if funding permits).

- Requirements to be eligible for travel scholarships and member support funds:

  • Participate in 6 DSC national calls a year for travel scholarships and up to $500 in member support funds, or 12 DSC national calls a year for up to $1,000 in member support funds

- Members are encouraged but not required to:

  • Vote on major campaign decisions
  • Sign on to DSC position statements, letters and endorsements on a case by case basis, which may happen electronically (these sign ons are opt-in; Individual or Organizational Member names will not be listed on DSC statements, letters or endorsements without the express approval of that Member)
  • Mobilize in some manner for annual National Week of Action (local action, blog writing, media work)
  • Join and take-on leadership in Working Groups
  • Join or apply to form local chapters
  • Commit to some type of local activity once a quarter related to the goal of ending pushout
  • Conduct outreach to bring on new members

- Organizational Members are eligible to serve on the Coordinating Committee.

 

                              

Suggested Donation

Suggested Donation Chart

 

*The size of the contribution by an organization has no effect on the scope of influence that any one organizational member of DSC may have in comparison to another, even where the contribution is zero. All organizational members participate equally in DSC decision-making and voting.

 


 

 

 


 

Joining DSC as an Individual Member

Download the application packet here or apply online


Benefits of Individual Membership in DSC


Responsibilities of Individual Membership in DSC


- Vote on major campaign decisions and in Coordinating Committee Election

 

- Participate in Monthly Membership and Working Group meetings

 

- Participate in drafting and review of policy recommendations, campaign statements and publications

 

- Attend DSC events, including convenings, Annual Membership Meeting and Days at the Capitol

 

- Increased visibility in DSC materials, including website and e-newsletter

 

- Access and/or contribute to data and research on best practices compiled by DSC and members

 

- Access to trainings and resources

 

 


- Basic requirements for membership include:

  • Sign on to DSC National Resolution for Ending School Pushout and DSC  Principles of Unity
  • Participate in at least 50% of the 12 calendared Monthly Membership calls OR 50% of at least one Working Group’s monthly calls within a year
  •  Attend Annual Membership Meeting (if funding permits)

- Members are encouraged but not required to:

  • Vote on major campaign decisions
  • Sign on to DSC position statements, letters and endorsements on a case by case basis, which may happen electronically (these sign ons are opt-in; Individual or Organizational Member names will not be listed on DSC statements, letters or endorsements without the express approval of that Member)
  •  Mobilize in some manner for annual National Week of Action (local action, blog writing, media work)
  •  Join and take-on leadership in Working Groups
  •  Join or apply to form local chapters
  • Commit to some type of local activity once a quarter related to the goal of ending pushout
  • Conduct outreach to bring on new members

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Joining DSC as an Endorser

DSC Endorsers are organizations or individuals that want to support DSC but cannot commit to participate as members.

Download the application packet here or apply online.