Dignity in Schools Blog

28 Feb

The Dignity in Schools Campaign will Continue to Fight for Transgender Students’ Civil Rights

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Last week, President Trump’s U.S. Departments of Education and Justice rescinded federal guidance released in May of 2016 which clarified that transgender students are protected under Title IX, an existing federal law that protects students from discrimination based on sex. This included protecting students rights in using  public school restrooms that match their gender identity.”

 

As a national coalition of students, parents, educators, organizers and advocates, the Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) condemns the Trump administration’s decision to rescind the guidance. 

15 Feb

DSC's Compiled Resources on ICE Raids and Immigrants Rights

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As many of you may be aware, there have been a series of actions taken by immigration officials last week and this weekend targeting immigrants in several cities across the country, including raids, interrogations and detention. Given that this may impact many of our members and their communities, we wanted to compile some of the resources we have seen shared in response. We plan to add all these to a new page on our website as well. Since this is not our area of experise we have probably left some resources out, so please reach out to us with any addtional things you'd like us to share with other members. We are especially looking for more resources specifically about schools (rights of immigrant students and parents, what to do if ICE or border patrol agents come on school grounds, steps schools and districts can take to protect students and parents, etc).

08 Feb

Youth and Parents will Continue the Fight for Quality Public Education for All Students

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Yesterday, Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s nominee for U.S. Secretary of Education, was confirmed by 50 Senators and Vice President Mike Pence. As a national coalition of over 100 organizations from across the country and Washington DC, the Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) stands in unity with education justice stakeholders to continue fighting to ensure equity and human rights in public education. 

31 Jan

Students and Parents Across the Country Continue to Oppose Betsy DeVos’ Nomination as U.S. Secretary of Education

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New York- Today, as the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) voted 12 to 11 to support the nomination of Betsy DeVos for U.S. Secretary of Education, the Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) and allies across the country continue to urge Senators to oppose her confirmation as it goes to the full Senate floor for approval. 

31 Jan

Students and Parents Across the Country Continue to Oppose Betsy DeVos’ Nomination as U.S. Secretary of Education

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New York- Today, as the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) voted 12 to 11 to support the nomination of Betsy DeVos for U.S. Secretary of Education, the Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) and allies across the country continue to urge Senators to oppose her confirmation as it goes to the full Senate floor for approval. 

30 Jan

Education Advocates Urge State Departments of Education to Improve School Climates through ESSA State Plans

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Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a coalition of education advocates sent letters to Departments of Education in eight states advising officials to include measures in their state ESSA plans to reduce the overuse of discipline practices that push students out of the classroom.

24 Jan

NYC Students, Parents and Teachers Urge DOE to Be a Leader in Creating Safe School Climate

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Students, parents, educators, elected officials, and civil rights advocates will speak out at the NYC Department of Education (DOE) Public Hearing on the School Discipline Code to urge the Department of Education to eliminate racial discrimination in school discipline and policing.

The Department of Education has made incremental progress in reducing the use of punitive discipline, but New York City remains to have some of the highest racial disparities in the nation. Now more than ever the Mayor’s Administration and Department of Education needs to take leadership and ensure approaches and outcomes across school discipline reflect the values of fairness and equity that for too long has eluded students of color. Changing racial inequities means embracing and implementing bold policy reforms and prioritizing funding for restorative practices and mental health supports

30 Dec

Countering the “Trump Effect”: Tips for Schools

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by DSC member Jason Langberg

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” – James Baldwin

14 Dec

#CounselorsNotCops: SRO Shooting is Another Disturbing Example of Students Placed at Risk from Police in Schools

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Last week, a School Resource Officer in Reno, Nevada shot a 14-year-old student, critically injuring him and putting other students at risk. Subsequently, the Washoe County School District’s Superintendent Traci Davis, applauded the police officer’s actions. The presence of police in schools has escalated dramatically in the last several decades. Law enforcement officers continue to be called on to address school safety issues and in turn further criminalize and harm students, especially students of color. Due to the bad judgement of a police officer on campus, another student has been attacked and faces life threatening injuries. In addition, other students and school staff were put at risk when shots were fired, and were subjected to the traumatic experience of watching a fellow student nearly lose their life at the hands of school district police. 

23 Nov

Highlights from our 2016 National Week of Action!

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What a powerful 7th Annual National Week of Action Against School Pushout! Our members and allies held 100 events in over 40 cities across the country bringing attention to the school to prison pipeline and to the solutions shaped by youth, parents and educators. Thank you to everyone who participated, organized actions and helped spread the word. We could not have done this without you! Stay tuned for our #DSCWoA2016 Highlights Video coming soon!

22 Nov

Help End School Pushout, Support us on Giving Tuesday, November 29!

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One week from today, on November 29, the Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) will participate in Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving where we will ask for your support to continue our work with youth and parent members in the movement to End the School to Prison Pipeline.

15 Nov

Protecting the Human Rights of Students and Families in a Trump Administration

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Now that election results are in, the Trump administration is beginning to name its potential cabinet members and we have some sense of the political climate students and parents will face for the next 4 years. As the Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC), we reaffirm our support for the increasingly critical work our member organizations are doing in their communities across the country.

14 Oct

U.S. Schools Should Invest in School Discipline Practices that Help Students Succeed, Not Policies that Push them Into Prison

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New York, NY – From Saturday, October 15 to Sunday, October 23, 2016, member organizations and allies of the Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) are bringing their voices to the 7th Annual National Week of Action Against School Pushout.

20 Sep

Senate and House Congressional Briefings on Examining the Role of Police in Schools- Wednesday, Sept. 21

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Washington, DC- On September 21, the Dignity in School Campaign (DSC) and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. – in collaboration with Representative G.K. Butterfield and Senator Chris Murphy – will host two congressional briefings to examine the role of police in schools. The briefings will feature personal stories from students and parents about interactions with school police, research and data on the role of police in schools, examples of best practices for creating positive school climates, and presentations of policy recommendations.

19 Sep

Dignity in Schools Campaign to Release Policy Platform on Police in Schools- Sept. 21

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New York, NY- On Wednesday, the Dignity in School Campaign (DSC), a national coalition of over 100 organizations from 27 states representing students, parents, educators and advocates, will release a new platform on police in schools, including policy recommendations, a multi-media webpage and a resource guide for communities and policy-makers.

DSC will release the platform on Wednesday, September 21 and hold a press conference call from 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. EST. The press call will feature member organizations of the coalition from across the country who are actively campaigning to limit the role of police in schools in California, Minnesota, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Texas. 

08 Sep

Federal Govt. Releases Guidance on Police in Schools, But Solutions Should Go Further to Call for More Counselors Not Police

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Today, the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education released the “Safe School-based Enforcement through Collaboration, Understanding, and Respect ‘SECURe’ State and Local Policy Rubric,” providing recommendations for the role of police in schools. 

The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) supports aspects of the recommendations, including language recommending that policies and practices should explicitly articulate that School Resource Officers (SROs) “should not administer discipline in schools.” However, the guidance should go further to promote substantive solutions and alternatives to police presence in schools, such as redirecting funding from school police towards more counselors, peace builders and positive discipline. 

28 Jul

Not If, But When?

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Here we are again, consumed by grief and anger after the horrific and senseless killings of two more Black people at the hands of law enforcement. In Louisiana, Alton Sterling, was shot at point-blank range, multiple times, in the chest and back, while pinned to the ground by two police officers. The next day, his 15-year-old son stood before reporters sobbing uncontrollably and crying, "I want my Daddy." 

15 Jul

U.S. Dept. of Education Brief Finds Increased Spending on Corrections vs. Education

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The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has released a brief detailing that over the last three decades "state and local spending on prisons and jails has increased at triple the rate of funding for public education for preschool through grade P-12 education." The report indicates that "all states had lower expenditure growth rates for P-12 education than for corrections, and in the majority of the states, the rate of increase for corrections spending was more than 100 percentage points higher than the growth rate for education spending."
14 Jul

National Youth Alliance Statement Supporting the Movement for Black Lives

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Last week, we were re­traumatized by the horror of watching the recorded murder of Alton Sterling, only to feel this deepen with the live Facebook streaming of Philando Castile’s murder a few hours later. Our hearts are heavy for Quinyetta McMillan and Cameron Sterling, and for Diamond Reynolds and the Castile family. The Dignity in Schools Campaign, an anchor network of the National Youth Alliance for Boys and Men of Color (NYA-BMoC), has joined NYA-BMoC in releasing a joint statement in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives.