2012 End of Year Reflections
Hello DSC Members and Allies,
As 2012 draws to a close, we are presented with the opportunity to reflect on our work this year, the opportunities and challenges that face us, and the strength of the national movement to end school pushout. With the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary leaving so many grieving, our thoughts, hearts and prayers turn to the Newtown community and all other communities healing from violence this year. As many across the country continue to think of ways to prevent tragedies like these, we remain focused on a core vision that has sustained our work from the beginning: ensuring that schools are places where all young people can learn in safe and supportive school environments. Read a statement from DSC here.
Below we reflect on important milestones this year and highlight the work of our members.
Building Momentum from First-Ever Senate Hearing on School-to-Prison Pipeline
You can still make your voice heard!
The DSC ended 2012 with over 130 members from across the country attending the first-ever U.S. Senate Hearing on “Ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline” in Washington, DC, where Edward Ward, a youth organizer with Blocks Together, testified about his experience. In the new year, DSC will continue working with Members of Congress and the federal government to promote positive alternatives to suspension, expulsion and arrest. Read more about the hearing and watch Edward's testimony here.
Help us keep the momentum going! You can use DSC templates to:
Watch Video Highlights from our 3rd Annual Week of Action!
From September 29 to October 6, we celebrated our 3rd Annual National Week of Action on School Pushout, calling for solutions to the more than 3 million out-of-school suspensions students receive each year.
Watch the DSC Week of Action 2012 Highlights Video featuring marches, rallies, community dialogues and trainings in more than 19 cities. DSC members held actions in Los Angeles and Long Beach, CA; Miami, FL; Lawrenceville and Valdosta, GA; Chicago, IL; New Orleans, LA; Boston, MA; Detroit, MI; Eupora, Greenville, Holmes County and Winona, MS; Raleigh, NC; Paterson and Jersey City, NJ; New York, NY; Portland, OR; Delavan, WI.
Launching the DSC Model Code and Solutions Not Suspensions
At the end of August, and after many of years of research and input from members across the country, we released the DSC Model Code on Education and Dignity and held our first “train the trainers” workshop hosted by the DSC-Los Angeles chapter.
That same week, the DSC joined together with the Opportunity to Learn Campaign to launch Solutions Not Suspensions, a Call for a Moratorium on Out-of-School Suspensions, at a press conference in Los Angeles. Since then DSC has held several webinars and trainings on the Model Code and members are planning local campaigns around the moratorium for 2013.
Read more about the Model Code.
Read more about the Solutions Not Suspensions launch.
DSC Small Convenings
We started the year with two small-scale convenings in the spring. The first, "Voices of Power: Taking Control of Meetings with Policymakers," was held during the weekend of March 30 - April 1 in Norcross, GA. View photos from this event.
The second took place in Boston, MA where DSC member organizations Boston Student Advisory Council and Youth on Board hosted “Bringing the Full Self to Education: Social/Emotional Learning and School Climate.” View photos and read through a summary of the discussion.
Throughout the year, DSC members also took an active role in the 2012 School-to-Prison-Pipeline Regional Action Camps organized by the Advancement Project in partnership with AEJ, DSC, Labor/Community Strategy Center, Padres & Jovenes Unidos, Youth United for Change and other local partners. Find out more about the Action Camps held in Los Angeles, Raleigh, Chicago and New York.
Keep up the Momentum!
Thank you to all of our members and allies for your amazing work and we look forward to continue working together in 2013! Here are some ways you can spread the word by encouraging others to:
SIGN-ON TO OUR CALL FOR A MORATORIUM ON OUT-OF-SCHOOL SUSPENSIONS!
Over 3 million students are suspended out of school each year contributing to pushout across the country. The DSC and the Opportunity to Learn Campaign launched the Solutions Not Suspensions Initiative to call for a nationwide moratorium on out of school suspensions.
Sign the pledge for the moratorium at www.stopsuspensions.org
SHARE ALTERNATIVES TO SUSPENSION WITH MEMBERS OF YOUR COMMUNITY!
The DSC created the Model Code on Education and Dignity, a set of recommended policies that communities, schools, districts and states can implement to stop out of school suspensions and school pushout. Contact us at [email protected] to learn about holding workshops on the Model Code in your community and sharing the Code with policy-makers.
Download the Model Code at Dignityinschools.org/our-work/model-school-code .
Closing the School Discipline Gap: Research to Practice - Washington D.C.
January 10, 2013 - 8:30am - 5:00pm
Conference hosted by Center for Civil Rights Remedies at UCLA's Civil Rights Project, Education Week, Gallup, and the Equity Project at Indiana University
Find out more and register.
Restorative Schools Conference - New York
January 28, 2013 - 9:30am - 3:30pm
Hosted by Dignity in Schools Campaign-New York and Teachers Unite
Find out more.
DSC Annual Membership Meeting
March 1 - March 3, 2013
Save the Date!
LOCAL MEMBER SPOTLIGHTS
Throughout the year, DSC members shared blog posts about exciting developments in their local campaigns. Here are examples of new resources from members highlighted this year:
Health Impact Assessment of School Discipline Policies
A landmark report co-published by DSC-Los Angeles member Community Asset Development Re-Defining Education (CADRE), that studied the mental health impact of zero tolerance policies on students in California.
Florida Students Caught in School-to-Prison Pipeline
A video from Power U Center for Social Change and Advancement Project documenting the school discipline crisis in Florida.
Model Student and Parent Handbook
A tool from the Mississippi Delta Catalyst Roundtable for students, parents, community people and educators to use for policy reform at the school district level.
From Policy to Standard Practice: Restorative Justice in Chicago Public Schools
A report from the High HOPES Campaign, which includes DSC members Blocks Together and COFI/POWER-PAC, showing that suspensions and expulsions have not made Chicago Public Schools safer, but instead have negatively affected the learning environment, resulted in long-term damaging effects on student behavior, learning and academic achievement, and contributed to higher dropout rates and violence.
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 www.dignityinschools.org to learn more.