Our friends and allies at the Boston Student Advisory Council (BSAC) and the Boston Area Youth Organizing Project (BYOP) hit the streets as part of the Dignity in Schools Campaign's National Week of Action on School Pushout. For the annual Listening Project event, the youth advocates went to three subway stations across the city and interviewed over 400 students about their experiences with their schools' discipline policies. Because when it comes down to it, who better to speak about the effects of harsh discipline policies than students themselves?
During the interviews, the youth advocates asked students questions about whether they were aware of their rights as students, if they knew anyone who had been encouraged to drop out, or if they had ever been punished for voicing their opinions in the classroom.
They also directed students to Solutions Not Suspensions, an initiative launched by the OTL Campaign and Dignity in Schools that calls for a moratorium on out-of-school suspensions, which, besides being an ineffective form of discipline, are disproportionately levied against students of color and students with disabilities.
BSAC and BYOB members have been working with officials from the Boston Public Schools to reform the city's school discipline code and implement restorative justice practices. The testimony they gathered for this project will be used in their organizing efforts and in meetings with school officials.
Read more about the event here!