Contact: Tafari Melisizwe, Dignity in Schools Campaign, Phone: (612) 532-8835, [email protected] | [email protected]
Week of Action for Counselors Not Cops with Youth, Parents and Teachers Across the Country
New York, NY – Each October, members of the Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC), a national coalition of over 100 organizations, host a series of events, teach-ins, rallies, protests and workshops across the country designed to bring attention to the ongoing and devastating impacts of school policing and zero-tolerance discipline policies. Beginning on Saturday, October 3rd and running through October 11th, DSC’s 11th National Week of Action Against School Pushout will bring students, parents, education advocates, lawyers and many others committed to social and educational justice together to amplify the nationwide call for schools to move away from punitive, cold, criminalizing policies and towards emotionally-safe, restorative and culturally responsive school communities.
In exercising an abundance of caution as the nation continues to grapple with COVID-19, we are hosting virtual national events throughout the week, beginning with an October 3rd panel discussion titled ‘Counselors Not Cops: Unpacking Student safety during COVID-19. Other notable events include Not just Counselors – The case for culturally relevant care on October 7th and Making Light Work, a national parent listening session taking place on Thursday, October 8th. Our national events wrap up with ‘Poetry 4 the People: #CounselorsNotCops Edition’, a virtual poetry slam on Saturday, October 10th at 6PM Eastern.
Local grassroots DSC member organizations across the country will also be hosting events in their communities, where virtual and remote learning has only intensified pre-existing structural inequalities. Remote learning environments are actively being hardened and create barriers to learning for many students. The Black, Brown and working-class students who do manage to get online risk being criminalized in their own homes.
Ingris Moran, Lead Organizer at Virginia-based Tenants and Workers United echos the urgency of this work when she states that, “[t]his week is to raise awareness and recognize the organizing our youth, parents and community members are doing all across the country (everyday) to change the structures that are held in place that are currently failing our young people. There are racist policies and insufficient resources that are impacting our young people that lead them to be in the school to prison pipeline, which is why we are pushing for better and just policies that better serve our youth.”
You can find a full calendar of events and information about actions across the country at: 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 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