Greetings DSC Members and Allies!
This has been a summer of powerful movement building that has culminated in beautiful acts of solidarity across the country. From Freedom Summer in Mississippi to actions calling for justice for the passing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO and other youth of color at the hands of law enforcement, we are building power. We have exciting victories to share and welcome you to join us from Oct. 4-11, 2014 for our 5th Annual Week of Action Against School Pushout! Please send updates about your local campaigns to DSC's Communications Coordinator Nancy Treviño to include in next month’s e-newsletter!
5th Annual National Week of Action Against School Pushout
October 4-11, 2014
We are excited for this year's National Week of Action Against School Pushout to raise awareness about the pushout crisis in our nation's schools. Our theme this year is Education is the Key! Don't Lock Us Out! We aim to push back against the criminalization of our young people and the harsh discipline practices that push students out of school. Each year, states spend $5.7 BILLION a year on the juvenile justice system instead of our schools.
DSC members and allies are organizing more than 100 events in over 40 cities! If you are interested in getting involved you can contact Nancy Treviño.
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Please watch and share the DSC Week of Action video! It's a great tool to recruit folks to participate in your local events!
Support Weekend of Resistance in Ferguson
October 10-13, 2014
The DSC is an official sponsor/partner of the Ferguson October: A Weekend of Resistance (Oct 10th to Oct 13th) calling for justice after the killing of Michael Brown and other victims of police violence. DSC member organization Missouri GSA Network will be joining Ferguson residents and allies from around the country during the weekend of resistance.
You can find more information here. You can read DSC’s full statement from August here.
Minneapolis Public Schools Ban Suspensions of Some Elementary School Students
Through the great work of DSC Member Minnesota Minority Education Partnership (MMEP) and allies, the Minneapolis Public School system has officially banned the suspension of prekindergarten, kindergarten and first-grade students. This is a great victory for the Minneapolis community in their fight to end school pushout. MMEP launched a Moratorium Campaign on Out of School Suspensions in 2013 and we celebrate this success. You can read more here and sign onto the Solutions Not Suspensions Pledge to call for a moratorium on out-of-school suspensions and for for more constructive disciplinary policies that benefit students, classrooms and communities.You can read more here.
Victory in Syracuse! DSC member Center for Community Alternatives (CCA) and allies successfully worked alongside the New York State Attorney General’s Office (NYAG) to push forward the agreement by the NYAG and Syracuse City School District that will “protect students against arbitrary and excessive discipline.” The agreement is intended to also “eliminate some of the stark disparities that have long existed along lines of race and disability status.” An independent monitor will also be appointed to “provide oversight during the agreement and audit the district’s compliance.” This is a landmark win for the Syracuse community. You can find more information on this victory here.
Syracuse City School District (SCSC) to Comply with Agreement on School Discipline
Los Angeles Unified School District to Reduce Arrests in Schools
Another landmark win for Los Angeles! DSC members Labor Community Strategy Center and Public Counsel with great support from the allies of DSC-LA and Brother Sons Selves organized successfully to win a new policy that will reduce Los Angeles School Police Department involvement in minor school discipline problems. The policy has taken effect this school year and requires the school district to now address school discipline issues that previously resulted in citations and arrests of students, for example student fights, substance use or property damage, through community and school interventions instead. You can find more information on this victory here.
Ypsilanti, Michigan Community Schools Adopt School Discipline Policies from DSC’s Model Code
Ypsilanti Community Schools (YCS) recently passed a progressive new code of conduct that adopts many of the recommended policies from the DSC Model Code on Education and Dignity . YCS formed a year ago when two school districts in Ypsilanti were consolidated. DSC member Student Advocacy Center of Michigan (SAC) participated in planning groups to lay out a vision for the district before the consolidation, which included using restorative practices. The district's first code of conduct did not incorporate restorative language, but SAC partnered with the district to make revisions before the 2014-2015 school year, which can be found here. The state's Department of Education also created a new model code of conduct with feedback from SAC, the ACLU of Michigan and others. The new code adopted in August 2014 emphasizes positive approaches, such as restorative practices.
DSC Small Convening in Portland, Oregon
More than 50 DSC members from 11 states, along with DSC staff members Fernando Martinez and Nancy Trevino, gathered in Portland, OR on August 9-11 for a Campaign Strategy Training on the Moratorium and Model Code work.
The convening was designed and led by members where sessions covered peer to peer support and skill building workshops, local and national strategy discussions, and a meeting organized by local host Portland Parent Union with the Portland Public Schools on their campaign for a moratorium on out of school suspensions. Youth leaders also participated in canvassing in the Portland community and Portland Parent Union shared their Restorative Listening Dialogue process.
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5TH ANNUAL NATIONAL WEEK OF ACTION AGAINST SCHOOL PUSHOUT
Education is the Key! Don't Lock Us Out!
Nationwide Events Posted here.
DSC CHARTER ACCOUNTABILITY GUIDELINES RELEASE
More information can be found here.
FERGUSON WEEKEND OF RESISTANCE
More information can be found here.
RETHINKING EDUCATION REFORM: A HUMAN RIGHTS PERSPECTIVE
DSC members NESRI and FFLIC will present about human rights, school discipline and privatization. Learn more here.
Unlocking Opportunity for African American Girls: A Call to Action for Educational Equity Report
DSC federal partners NAACP Legal Defense Fund Inc. has released the report Unlocking Opportunity for African American Girls: A Call to Action for Educational Equity. This report seeks to expand conversations around educational opportunity by taking a comprehensive look at the barriers African American girls face and the educational and economic outcomes that result. You can read the executive summary here and the report in full here.
Lessons in Racial Justice and Movement Building: Dismantling the School-To-Prison Pipeline in Colorado and Nationally
DSC member Padres y Jovenes Unidos (PJU) has released the report Lessons in Racial Justice and Movement Building: Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline in Colorado and Nationally. The report describes how PJU came to work on school discipline issues and presents their analysis of the school-to-prison pipeline. You can read the report here.
IN THE NEWS
California Becomes First in the Nation to Limit Suspensions for Willful Defiance
Colorlines, Julianne Hing, September 29, 2014
Children's Rights groups Urge Defense Program to Stop giving School Cops Military Hardware
The Center for Public Integrity, Susan Ferriss, September 16, 2014
Minneapolis Schools End Suspensions For Youngest Students With Nonviolent Issues
CBS Minnesota, September 5, 2014
Michael Brown and Black Men
The New York Times, Charles M. Blow, August 13, 2014
Los Angeles to Reduce Arrest Rate in Schools
The New York Times, Jennifer Medina, August 18, 2014
Syracuse school board acts on attorney general's discipline report; Speakers praise Contreras
Syracuse.com Paul Riede July 09, 2014
About 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.
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