October 9th, 2019
Contact: Tafari Melisizwe, Dignity in Schools Campaign, Phone: (612) 532-8835, [email protected] | [email protected]
Communities Nationwide Demand Education, Not Incarceration for Students during Upcoming 10th National Week of Action Against School Pushout
Beginning October 19th, a nationwide coalition of parents, students, and educators in over 20 states will host events, actions and community trainings to end the regular presence of police in schools.
New York, NY – Parents, teachers, students and other members of the National Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) coalition are gearing up for their 10th Annual Week of Action, championing the call to replace school police and zero-tolerance discipline policies with approaches and strategies that build positive school climates and keep students in the classroom.
From October 19th to 27th, DSC members in more than 20 states will host events as part of the Week of Action. Under the banner of ‘Educate Students, Stop Arrests,’ local and community-based organizations will unveil murals, lead marches and hold rallies, teach-ins, community forums and more; taking a stand against policies that criminalize students and calling for an end to the regular presence of all law enforcement in schools.
“We see the Dignity in Schools’ Week of Action as an integral part of our efforts to achieve police free schools in Colorado! By showing our strength and solidarity with partner organizations around the country we know true change is possible. Not only will we be taking our demands to abolish Denver Public Schools’ SRO program directly to the school board during the Week of Action, we will also be centering our youth leaders by producing a “behind the scenes” documentary for youth to engage with us in the 2020 legislative session, where we aim to dramatically reduce school policing across the state.” – Jake Cousins, Deputy Director, Padres & Jóvenes Unidos
DSC will also release an online update to its Model School Code on Education & Dignity. The Model Code features several new and updated policy platforms, including a positive alternative to the emerging trend of using ‘Threat Assessments’ in schools that criminalize young people. The Model Code presents recommended policies to schools, districts, and legislators to help end the school-to-prison pipeline and create a more positive environment that responds to the diverse social, emotional and academic needs of students and school staff.
The Week of Action culminates with a National Event in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, October 26th–‘ESSA Action!: a National Conversation on How We Educate Students & Stop Arrests–hosted by DSC and the Holistic Empowerment Restorative Outreach Services (H.E.R.O.S. Advocacy Group). Youth and community leaders from 8 states will join local parents, students and teachers in Las Vegas for a discussion on the impact that policing in schools has on the community.
DSC members across the country are calling for a shift in education funding and policy priorities, away from criminalization and school policing, towards hiring more counselors and other school staff trained in positive and culturally relevant approaches, such as Restorative Justice and Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). These positive approaches focus on building healthy relationships between teachers and students and treating discipline as a teaching moment rather than an opportunity to punish and push students out of school.
Find out more by visiting http://www.dignityinschools.org/our-work/week-of-action.
The Dignity in Schools Campaign is a national coalition of over 100 organizations led by youth, parents, educators, civil rights leaders, and social justice advocates that promote alternatives to zero-tolerance discipline policies and call for the removal of regularly stationed police officers in schools. The reliance on law enforcement and the use of suspensions and expulsions to address misbehavior results in higher suspension rates and referrals to law enforcement for students of color, often for minor misconduct, fueling a “school-to-prison” pipeline. You can find more information at http://dignityinschools.org