Press Releases


New York, NY- On Monday, April 15th at 11 AM on the Steps of City Hall, Democratic mayoral candidates John Liu, Bill Thompson, and elected officials stood with students, parents and teachers, to call for an end to racial disparities in school suspensions and arrests. The press event, brought together by the Dignity in Schools Campaign- NY (DSC-NY), and joined by the citywide coalition New Yorkers for Great Public Schools, called on the next Mayor to end these racial disparities by implementing positive approaches to discipline like Restorative Justice programs, that will keep young people in the classroom and out of the streets and the juvenile justice system.


**Media Advisory for April 15, 2013**
Amid Growing Outrage Against Mayor Bloomberg’s Heavy-Handed“Zero Tolerance” Discipline Policies, Students Call on Next Mayor to Implement Positive Alternatives


Communities Should Implement Positive Approaches in Response to Gun Violence and Address the Impact of School Safety Policies on Youth of Color

New York - Earlier today, the National Rifle Association released a set of alarming proposals to increase the number of armed personnel in schools as a response to the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School late last year. The effort, called the National School Shield Program, calls for funding and legislation to support NRA-sponsored model training programs for School Resource Officers and armed school personnel in our nation’s public schools.


During April Fools Week, Students Say No to Foolish Proposals from NRA and Others for Armed Guards and Police in Schools, Instead Call for Positive Approaches to School Safety 


New York - Youth backed by student, parent and educator-led groups and civil rights organizations will participate in the national You Can’t Build Peace with a Piece Week of Action beginning on April 1st to urge elected officials and school districts to fund counselors, community intervention workers and mental health professionals instead of placing armed guards and other law enforcement in schools. The Week of Action will include events in California, Florida, Illinois, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Washington D.C., and more.



Washington, DC - On Monday, March 4 at 4pm a national coalition of students of color and allies from around the country, including members of the Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC), the Advancement Project, the Alliance for Educational Justice, and Washington, DC-based youth organization Critical Exposure, will hold a rally on the NE corner of the U.S. Capitol Grounds to call on congress to reject school safety policies that promote an increase in police, school resource officers (SRO’s) and armed guards in our nations’ public schools. The coalition is urging Congress and the Obama administration to instead focus on proven positive measures like positive behavior intervention and supports, social and emotional learning, restorative justice, and the hiring and training of counselors, social workers, and community intervention workers.


Invest In Practices that Strengthen Bonds between Students and Educators, Not Increased Police Presence

Washington, DC – Yesterday, President Obama laid out an impressive plan to meaningfully address the causes of gun violence and highlighted the importance of fostering a nurturing school climate to help prevent school violence. Part of the President’s plan would enable U.S. schools to hire up to 1,000 more school police or school counselors. We are concerned by any plan that could result in more police in schools.


In the weeks following the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut, a number of advocates, including members of Congress and the National Rifle Association, have called for armed guards and/or police officers in public schools. As Vice President Joe Biden’s task force on gun violence develops policy recommendations in response to the attack and gun violence more generally, a coalition of youth, parents, education advocates, civil rights organizations, and law enforcement are cautioning the White House against embracing proposals to put armed guards and police in schools.


What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School one week ago has left all of us stunned, speechless, and grieving.  Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are with the families, friends, colleagues, and neighbors of those lost in this horrific tragedy.  News reports have shown us an incredibly tight-knit school community at Sandy Hook – one in which parents felt that the school was an extens


Washington, DC - Today, Edward Ward, a youth leader with Chicago-based community organization Blocks Together and a member of the Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC), will testify before the first-ever Senate hearing on "Ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline" about his first-hand experience with the culture of zero tolerance discipline that has lead to more than 3 million young people being suspended out of school each year, overwhelmingly for minor, non-violent offenses. The DSC commends Senator Durbin and the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights for holding this hearing and ensuring that the voices of youth leaders like Edward are heard. 


Washington, DC - On Wednesday, December 12th, Edward Ward, a youth leader with Chicago-based community organization Blocks Together and a member of the Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC), will testify before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights on "Ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline," which will take place at 2:00 p.m., in Room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building.