In a recent op-ed, Kavitha Mediratta, lauds the progress made by New York City schools in challenging the school the prison pipeline through their efforts in school discipline reform. Although much, of course, remains to be done, she argues that recent moves by NYC Mayer, Bill de Blasio, herald a step in the right direction.
Fair and Just School Climate
Grassroots organizers in New York City have been fighting for school discipline reform for years, and their hard work paid off this week when the City Council passed next year's budget with $2.4 million in funding for restorative justice programs.
The New York City Council is considering a bill that would use public school funding to provide NY Police Department safety agents to private schools. In response, Kesi Foster, Coordinator for the Urban Youth Collaborative, wrote an op-ed recently arguing this bill not only hurts public schools financially, but also directly contributes to the school-to-prison pipeline.
The grassroots organization Padres y Jóvenes Unidos (PJU) won district-wide school discipline reform for Denver Colorado a few years ago.
The African American Policy Forum, Advancement Project, Dream Defenders, and others released a new video that powerfully reaffirms the multitude of reasons why #BlackGirlsMatter.
Voice of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE) deserves tremendous praise for their latest victory—passing a groundbreaking school discipline reform bill through the Illinois Legislature. This bill is sorely needed, as Chicago schools struggle with the overuse of harsh school disciplinary practices that are disproportionately levied against students of color.
Often, when we talk about the impact of harsh school discipline policies, we talk about the short-run. We highlight how suspensions are disproportionately handed out to students of color, students with disabilities and LGBTQ students, often for minor, nonviolent misbehaviors, and this alienates students from the classroom and makes it more likely that they drop out of school.
BSAC students and staff at the launch event.
The Boston Student Advisory Council released a first-of-its-kind website and phone app this week that is a great tool for empowering the city's students and ensuring the district respects their rights, particularly as they relate to school discipline.