Contact: Tafari Melisizwe, Dignity in Schools Campaign, Phone: (612) 532-8835, [email protected] | [email protected]
For Immediate Release
October 14th, 2021
New York, NY — From October 16th-24th, grassroots organizers, student and parent groups, education advocates and many others will join members of the Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC), for their 12 National Week of Action Against School Pushout. As a part of their annual mass education campaign to raise awareness and inspire collective action against the ongoing and devastating impacts of school policing and zero-tolerance discipline policies, DSC supports and co-coordinates events, teach-ins, rallies, protests and workshops across the county.
This year’s theme, Community Not Cops, embraces the reality that student safety begins with a foundation of culturally responsive, caring adults in schools who can meet students’ needs, work with students to prevent, process, and respond to conflicts while fostering positive learning environments. The institution of policing, and by extension police officers who represent its expression, are categorically and structurally incapable of contributing positively to any of the above listed.
Marlyn Tillman, Co-Chair of the Gwinnett Parent Coalition to Dismantle the School to Prison Pipeline (Gwinnett SToPP) reminds organizers that “It is imperative particularly during these extraordinary times, to provide young people with the support they need. That requires a system of care provided by trained professionals who don’t carry a gun, a taser, a baton and handcuffs. We need to get back to the basics of building relationships and being in community with one another.”
DSC-National is hosting two events during this Week of Action. On October 16th, they’re hosting a virtual kick-off event, “Frontline on Community Not Cops”, from 2:00-3:00pm Eastern. DSC members from Colorado, Illinois, New York and Washington D.C. will participate in a brief roundtable discussion on the current landscape of fighting for #CommunityNotCops and #PoliceFreeSchools. Visit tinyurl.com/frontlineoncommunity to register and join us.
Their second event takes place on Saturday, October 23rd from 2:00-3:30pm EST and will be a joint collaboration with the People’s Think Tank, a grassroots effort to document and disseminate the collective wisdom of the many local movement builders that converged to form what is now called the “education justice movement”. Mark R. Warren joins DSC to introduce his new book, “Willful Defiance: The Movement to Dismantle the School-To-Prison-Pipeline”. Willful Defiance tells the story of how Black and Brown parents and students organized to dismantle the school–to–prison pipeline in their local schools and built a movement that spread across the country. Visit tinyurl.com/talkingsankofa to register for this event.
Visit www.dignityinschools.org to see what other events DSC members are hosting across the nation.
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 result 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