Greetings DSC Members and Allies!
We are happy to share that this year’s week of action in October was a huge success! Our campaign gained new members and uplifted the voices of those most impacted by school pushout. As most of you are aware, our week of action was followed by the terrible assault at Spring Valley High. DSC issued a statement and many of our members were featured in various media outlets, most notably on Democracy Now! You can find media coverage on the In the News section of our website. If you have local campaign updates, events, or resources you would like to share through our e-newsletter email firstname.lastname@example.org.
6th Annual Week of Action Against School Pushout
What an amazing Week of Action Against School Pushout, full of local events showcasing the leadership of youth, parents and teachers in the fight to end school pushout! DSC members and allies held over 70 actions and events in 40 cities hosted by more than 100 organizations.
Across the country, our members delivered the message that we must Invest in Public Education, Not Prison Cultivation! We will continue to collect updates from everyone who did an event in the coming weeks so check out our website for more information:
Visit our Tumblr page for photos from actions around the country.
Watch the video from our national event in Washington, DC with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans.
Download our fact sheet on Investment in Education vs. Incarceration!
DSC Statement on Assault at Spring Valley High
Last month, a video of a young black student being assaulted by School Resource Officer (SRO) Ben Fields in Columbia, South Carolina was posted online, showing us once again why SROs, municipal police, probation officers and other law enforcement personnel should not handle student safety or school discipline issues in and around schools. The young woman was hurled to the ground and dragged violently by the officer, risking serious injury or worse, and threatening the safety of the entire classroom. Across the country, DSC members spoke out in response to this incident and called for an end to the criminalization and dehumanization of youth in our schools and communities. You can read our entire DSC statement here.
New Video from Teachers Unite Calls for Investment in Restorative Justice
DSC member Teachers Unite has launched a new video campaign featuring NYC teachers and students calling for investment in Restorative Justice in public education and divestment from school policing. Teachers are demanding action from their union and calling on the school system to replace school police and other law enforcement with counselors, community intervention workers and peacebuilders, Restorative Justice and positive discipline. Watch and share their video here.
New Orleans Parents and Students Rally to End School-Sanctioned Violence - Join FFLIC by Signing their Petition!
Last week, DSC member Families and Friends of Louisianas Incarcerated Children (FFLIC) held a rally to kick off the Fight for 15 Day of Action to call on the New Orleans Recovery School District (RSD) to address police violence against children and to raise wages for paraprofessionals in NOLA schools.
FFLIC launched a petition during the action demanding that RSD create a clear division of responsibilities between the city’s charter schools and law enforcement. They highlighted the recent arrest of a 10 year-old student with disabilities who attends an RSD school. Join FFLIC by signing their petition here. Also, watch FFLIC youth leader Rahsaan Ison share his school pushout story on Equal Voice News.
In November, DSC members from Student Advocacy Center in Michigan and Advocates for Justice in Education in Washington, DC joined Fernando Martinez, our DSC Field Organizer, at a peer exchange on trauma-informed approaches in schools sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The exchange was hosted by Elev8 in Baltimore to share best practices from their school-based programming.
In October, DSC staff supported Week of Action events across the country. Natalie Chap and Nancy Trevino, our Campaign and Communications Coordinators, joined DSC members Racial Justice Now!, Minnesota Education Equity Partnership, West Dayton Youth Taskforce, Citizens for a Better Greenville, Gwinnett SToPP and members of the Dignity in Schools Campaign-New York at our Week of Action National Event in Washington D.C. Our Field Organizer, Fernando Martinez, also joined Advocates for Equity in Schools-Henrico Coalition in Virginia for a meeting with their state Department of Education.
IN THE NEWS
Cops in the Classroom: South Carolina Incident Highlights Growing Police Presence in Schools
Democracy Now, October 28, 2015
Youth driven effort a key in bringing social change
USA Today, November 2015
When School Feels Like Jail
Eli Hager, Marshall Project, November 11, 2015
Spring Valley case shows how much is wrong with school discipline
Gina Womack, NOLA.com, November 4, 2015
Cops in schools: Yeah or nah?
Daily Kos, Thandisizwe Chimurenga, Friday Oct 30, 2015
An Open Letter to Every Teacher Who Has Told a Student to Put Away a Cell Phone
Huffington Post, Sally Lee, November 3, 2015
Love At First Sight: Rethinking School Discipline
U.S. Dept. of Education Blog, Khalilah Harris, November 2, 2015
'Some girls never get a first chance'
MSNBC, October 31, 2015
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U.S. Human Rights Network Conference
Dec 10-13, 2015
The U.S. Human Rights Network will hold their sixth biannual national human rights conference ADVANCING HUMAN RIGHTS 2015: Sharpening our Vision, Reclaiming our Dreams. You can register here.
DSC Annual Membership Meeting
April 22-24, 2016
Los Angeles, CA
Save the Date!
Arresting Justice Report
DSC member Project NIA has released their 3rd edition of the Arresting Justice report about juvenile arrests in Chicago. You can view the report here.
LOCKED OUT Report
The Council of State Governments and other national partners released the report LOCKED OUT: Improving Educational and Vocational Outcomes for Incarcerated Youth. The report highlights key findings after having surveyed state juvenile correctional agencies in all 50 states, seeking answers to what educational and vocational services are provided to incarcerated youth and to youth after their release from incarceration. You can read the report here.
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.
Follow us at @DignityinSchool
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