Highlights from the 2014 Week of Action Against School Pushout

Dignity in Schools Campaign

This post originally appeared on the Dignity in Schools (DSC) Campaign blog.

What an amazing Week of Action, full of local events showcasing the leadership of youth, parents and teachers in the fight to end school pushout! DSC members have truly outdone themselves this year with over 100 events in 52 cities hosted by more than 70 organizations, making this year our biggest Week of Action ever (by far!).

Across the country, our members delivered the message that we will not rest until every student receives a quality education that allows them to reach their full potential. We will be getting updates from everyone who did an event in the coming weeks so check out our website for more information, including:

Photos from actions across the country!

Full list of events from over 50 cities!

Highlights from Local 2014 Week of Action Events

The week kicked off on Saturday, October 4th with events all weekend, including a March and Rally Against School Pushout hosted by Gwinnett SToPP and allies in Atlanta GA. On Monday actions continued in over a dozen cities, including Long Beach, CA, where Youth Justice Coalition and California Conference on Equality and Justice held the event, Think Outside the Cage: Youth Success Over Youth Incarceration.

Several organizations—including Save the KidsErie County Coalition for Restorative JusticeCADRE, members of theMississippi Delta Catalyst Roundtable, and GSA Network local affiliates—held creative events throughout the entire week, from prisoner letter writing circles, to radio call in shows, to classroom observations. DSC National Coordinator, Natalie Chap joined events in Chicago, including Project NIA’'s youth created theater, PUSHED OUT: An Interactive Youth-Led Experience of the School to Prison Pipeline, and COFI/POWERPAC'’s meeting between parents and Chicago Public School officials.

On Thursday, Power U Center for Social Change held a town hall meeting and rally on the school-to-prison pipeline in Miami, FL, and on Friday DSC members Youth Organizing InstituteNC Heat and Education Justice Alliance hit the streets in Raleigh, NC, where they were joined by DSC Field Organizer, Fernando Martinez, for a march and rally from a local school to the central prison. Earlier in the week on Monday they held a press conference outside of the police department.

DSC member Missouri GSA Network closed out the Week of Action by participating in #FergusonOctober, including a chalk walk project envisioning the schools and the world they wanted to see.

Charter School Accountability Guidelines Release and Actions in Dayton, OH

Wednesday, October 8th was a big day for the national campaign as we released our Accountability Guidelines on School Pushout and Charter Schools with a press conference and panel hosted by local DSC member Racial Justice Now! (RJN) in Dayton, OH. DSC members from Youth on Board in Boston and FFLIC in New Orleans, traveled to Dayton to put a spotlight on charter school practices in their communities.

Earlier in the week, Racial Justice Now! also released their Ohio School Discipline Report Card, garnering media coverage and generating conversations with school district officials across the state about discipline in both traditional public and charter schools.

National Leadership Summit in D.C.

At the beginning of the Week of Action, DSC members from nine states traveled to Washington, DC to participate in the National Leadership Summit on School Discipline and Climate organized by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice. DSC members spoke on panels, participated in state-level teams and co-sponsored a reception with The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, featuring a photo exhibit from DSC member Critical Exposure.

This is just a small sample of the events held over the course of the week, there just isn'’t space here to showcase them all. We will be releasing a highlights video with footage and photos from local events across the country, and continuing to update our website as we get more detailed updates from folks who were on the ground at each event.

Examples of Media Coverage

From St. Louis to South LA, American Youth Move the Moment
The Nation, StudentNation, October 14, 2014

Op-ed: Push Back On School Pushout of LGBT Youth
Advocate.com, Abram Bolanos, October 10, 2014

Protesters Rally to Bring Attention to Racial Discrepancies in School Suspensions
TWC News Buffalo, Katie Cummings, October 8, 2014

YOUTH ACTION: ‘We Don't Call Them Dropouts; We call them Pushouts, Because that's what Happened to Them’
Dig Boston, CHRIS FARAONE, October 7, 2014

New Orleans Participates In National Week Of Action Against School Pushout
WWNO, Mallory Falk, October 7, 2014

Youth activists protesting Wake County's school-to-prison pipeline
News Observer, T. Keung Hui, October 6, 2014

March and rally to support LGBT school students set for Oct. 4
GA Voice, Delwyn Andrews, October 3, 2014

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