A coalition of grassroots advocacy groups, including Girls for Gender Equity and the Urban Youth Collaborative, are pressing the New York State Education Department to issue statewide guidance for a moratorium on suspensions for the remainder of the school year. As their petition states:
Discriminatory school discipline policies disproportionately push Black, Latinx, Indigenous, TGNCIQ, and students with disabilities out of school and into the school-to-prison pipeline. A recent study released by the New York Equity Coalition found Black students in New York State are more than 4 times as likely to be suspended from schools than their white peers. Students most at danger of being pushed out of school are still navigating the trauma of having their families and communities plagued by a global health pandemic. During this new and difficult process returning to schools, it is vital that we don’t disrupt students' return to school and default to “zero tolerance” responses to school behavior, which has its roots in criminalizing Blackness and undermines the ability to build safe and nurturing learning environments.