Dear friends,

Summer is almost here! We recently got back from Boston, MA where our friends from Youth on Board/Boston Student Advisory Council hosted the DSC's second small convening, Bringing the Full Self to Education: Social and Emotional Learning and School Climate. Members of the DSC from throughout the country joined together for two days of learning and strategizing around social and emotional learning and its connection to positive school climate and discipline approaches. Click here to see photos from this event.

This e-news features a new suspension stories blog created by DSC-NY, a new report co-published by CADRE on the negative health impacts of zero tolerance policies, excellent news from the High HOPES Coalition on their efforts to implement restorative justice in Chicago Public Schools, and more. Click here for upcoming events, including DSC’s webinar on school discipline data from the Office of Civil Rights.

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you'd like to get involved by writing to You can also visit the Dignity in Schools Campaign on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

Best wishes,

Dignity in Schools Campaign

Member Groups Spotlight

Community Asset Development Re-Defining Education (CADRE)

New Report: Zero Tolerance Policies May Have Negative Health Implications for Students

A new report co-published by Community Asset Development Re-Defining Education (CADRE), a DSC-Los Angeles member, finds that one-third of school suspensions in three California school districts—Los Angeles, Oakland and Salinas—could have been prevented, saving the districts about 31 days of teaching time and around 93 days of administrative time in the process.

The report, funded by the California Endowment and coordinated by Human Impact Partners (HIP), CADRE and Restorative Justice Partners (RJP), also found that youth enrolled in middle and high schools that practiced zero tolerance policies were much likelier to have higher stress levels than students attending schools using alternate disciplinary models, such as positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) and restorative justice (RJ) programs.

Click here to read and/or download the report.

High HOPES Coalition

This May, the High HOPES Campaign, a Chicago coalition of eight community groups that includes DSC members Access Living, Blocks Together, POWER-PAC/COFI and Southwest Youth Collaborative, won the passage of a non-binding resolution in the Chicago City Council calling for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to reduce suspensions, expulsions and arrests by 40 percent by fully implementing and funding restorative justice. The coalition followed that victory with a public meeting of nearly 200 leaders on June 2. There, students of color, youth with disabilities, parents, teachers, and community and faith leaders were joined by aldermen and the Chicago Teachers Union in calling on Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS to negotiate in good faith.

Read more

DSC-NY: Student Suspenstion Stories Blog

On Monday, May 23rd, the DSC-NY Chapter launched the Student Suspension Stories Blog, which featured one suspension story every day leading up to the New York City Department of Education Discipline Code hearing on June 5. DSC-NY held a rally and press conference on the day of the hearing to demand positive alternatives to reduce the high suspension rates in New York City public schools.

The blog was created to highlight students’ personal stories as examples of school pushout and to build momentum and support for DSC-NY’s proposed changes to the Discipline Code. While the new draft code does include some victories for DSC-NY, such as eliminating suspensions for minor behaviors in Level 2, and adding a new section on restorative practices, it does not go far enough to significantly reduce the more than 73,400 suspensions issued last year, and to require the use of positive alternatives to suspension.

Click here to visit the Suspension Stories Blog

Click here to read about the DSC-NY rally and Discipline Code Hearing

From the DSC Blog

Students, Parents, Teachers, and Advocates Rally to Challenge Latest Draft of NYC School Discipline Code
by Kristin Schwam, 06/11/2012
"The New York City Department of Education held a public hearing last week to review a new draft of the Discipline Code, which included some positive steps towards limiting the number of minor infractions that subject students to suspension. While students and parents with the Dignity in Schools Campaign-New York acknowledge the changes as a step in the right direction, they maintain the changes are not substantial enough. The Code still lists 25 infractions for which middle and high school students can be suspended for an entire school year."
Read more

New York City Faces School Arrests and Failing Mental Health Programs in Public Schools
by Andrea Bustard, 05/05/2012
"Before 6-year old Salecia Johnson was handcuffed in a Georgia classroom and escorted to the local police station after a tantrum last month, a 5-year-old autistic boy in Brooklyn was strapped to a stretcher, hauled out of his Brighton Beach classroom and taken in an ambulance to a psych ward on March 6."
Read more

School-based Arrests Criminalize Students and Feed The School to Prison Pipeline
by The Dignity in Schools Campaign, 04/30/2012
"The shocking handcuffing and arrest of six-year-old Salecia Johnson in Milledgeville, GA for allegedly throwing a tantrum is, unfortunately, an all-too-common practice in thousands of schools around the country where harsh and punitive disciplinary practices are the first response to student misbehavior, including for minor incidents such as insubordination, disrespect, class disruption and fighting."
Read more

In The News

Students and Others Rally Before Discipline Code Hearing
by Theodoric Meyer (Schoolbook/New York Times, 06/06/2012)
"About 100 parents, teachers, students and advocates turned out for a hearing at Stuyvesant High School on Tuesday evening on proposed changes to the city’s discipline code, which would, among other things, lessen the number of offenses for which students could be suspended."
Read more

DOE Officials Hold Public Meeting On Revised Discipline Code
by Lindsey Christ (NY1, 06/05/2012)
"A public meeting was held in Lower Manhattan Tuesday night about proposed changes to the Department of Education's discipline code, as the department's statistics show that a disproportionate number of students of color are being suspended. Students, advocates and civil libertarians have been concerned about the rate of suspensions for a while. Last year, 73,000 students in city public schools were suspended."
Read more

Study: Zero Tolerance Policies May Have Negative Health Implications for Students
by James Swift (Youth Today, 05/30/2012)
"A new report based on research of three California school districts suggests that school children exposed to so called, ‘zero tolerance’ policies may be taking a toll on their mental health and well-being."
Read more

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DSC Webinar on Office of Civil Rights Data on School Discipline
06/18/2012 - 4:00pm ET/3:00pmCT/2:00pm MT/1:00pm PT
Click here to register!

Raise The Age New York: Community Forum
Thursday June 21, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza, "Community Room"
1368 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11216
Find out more.

Teachers Unite Training: Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Bringing Restorative Justice to Our Schools!
July 16-18, 2012
Click here to register!

Children's Defense Fund National Conference
July 22 – 25, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio
Find out more.

The 15th World Conference of the International Institute for Restorative Practices
August 1-3, 2012 in Bethlehem, PA
Find out more.

DSC National Week of Action on Ending School Pushout 2012
September 29, 2012 - October 6,2012
Find out more.


Health Impact Assessment of School Discipline Policies
Health impact assessment (HIA) is a tool that is used to evaluate the impacts of a proposed policy on health. Human Impact Partners (HIP) conducted an HIA study on school discipline policies in Los Angeles, Oakland, and Salinas, California school districts. HIP worked in collaboration with CADRE in Los Angeles and Restorative Justice Partners (RJP) in Salinas.
Click here to learn more and to download the Report in English and in Spanish.

Pathways for Offender Reentry
The American Correctional Association (ACA) has just released its new reader “Pathways for Offender Reentry.” This new publication features essays by scholars and practitioners including an article from DSC member group Center for Community Alternatives, “Unlocking the Potential of Reentry through Reintegrative Justice." The full reader is available for order on the ACA website -
You can download a free copy of the article “Unlocking the Potential of Reentry through Reintegrative Justice” here.

The World As It Could Be Human Rights Education Program
The World As It Could Be is a Rex Foundation project dedicated to raising awareness about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Reflective of Rex’s commitment to fostering positive social change, the UDHR provides an exciting framework for actively engaging in local and global efforts toward the achievement of life, liberty and human dignity for all people.
To learn more about the project, please visit their website, which includes videos of youth-led presentations, and instructional materials.

About the Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC)

The Dignity in Schools Campaign is a national coalition of youth, parents, advocates, community-based organizations, educators and policymakers working together to seek human rights-based solutions to the systemic problem of pushout in U.S. schools.

Visit us at to learn more.

DIGNITY IN SCHOOLS | 90 JOHN ST. STE 308, NEW YORK, NY 10038 | TEL: (212) 253-1710 Ext. 317 | FAX (212) 385-6124 |