Highlights from our 2016 National Week of Action!

23 Nov in
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What a powerful 7th Annual National Week of Action Against School Pushout! Our members and allies held 100 events in over 40 cities across the country bringing attention to the school to prison pipeline and to the solutions shaped by youth, parents and educators. Thank you to everyone who participated, organized actions and helped spread the word. We could not have done this without you! Stay tuned for our #DSCWoA2016 Highlights Video coming soon!

National “Lift Us Up!” Event in Pittsburgh during Week of Action

DSC members and allies convened in Pittsburgh, PA on October 20th for 
our national event, Lift Us Up! Take Action to End the School to Prison Pipeline, hosted by Education Rights Network and One Pittsburgh. Over 150 local community members joined hundreds more over live stream to see performances by Jasiri X and hear DSC youth, parents and advocates from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Illinois share their school pushout stories, their organizing work and the solutions they are fighting for in their communities. Local, state and federal policy-makers, including Tanya Clay House from the U.S. Department of Education, also joined to respond about what steps they are taking to end school pushout. You can watch video from the event here

Highlights from Member Events Across the Country!

New Research and Reports on School Pushout

From Ohio to California, local DSC members released new data and research during the Week of Action, including Statewide Report Cards on school discipline in Ohio and Oregon by Racial Justice NOW! and Portland Parent Union, research on the experiences of young women of color from Girls for Gender Equity in New York, and a report about the negative impacts of police in schools from the ACLU of California. Make the Road New York, Padres y Jovenes Unidos and Communities United also released a report on justice reinvestment and the cost of mass incarceration, and in Boston, Youth on Board and Boston Youth Organizing Project held their Annual Listening Project, gathering new student suspension stories at transit stations around the city.

Marches, Rallies and Speakouts to End #School2Prison

Youth and parents in several cities—from Gwinnett SToPP in Lawrenceville, to the Youth Organizing Institute in Raleigh, to the Missouri GSA Network in St. Louis—marched from schools to police departments, prisons and courthouses to highlight the school to prison pipeline. Save the Kids members in Durango, Buffalo and Albuqueque held protests and speakouts against school pushout and called for Counselors Not Cops. In Syracuse, the Center for Community Alternatives rallied to “Say No to Solitary Confinement of Youth”, Padres y Jovenes Unidos held a “Haunted by Racism in Our Schools” Halloween rally outside of Denver Public Schools, and in Portland, OR Resolutions Northwest held a march and youth speak out on pushout and restorative justice.

Candidate Forums for Upcoming Elections

In New Orleans, Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children (FFLIC), Black Man Rising (BMR), Community Education Project of New Orleans (CEPNO) and The Power Coalition held a School Board Candidates Forum on ending suspensions for willful disobedience and prioritizing counselors not cops in schools. Watch the live streamed video here. More members, including the Solutions Not Suspensions Coalition in Minnesota, POWER U and SOUL Sisters Leadership Collective in Miami, and West Dayton Youth Task Force in Ohio, also held candidates forums in their communities.

Hearings and Advocacy to Hold Policy-Makers Accountable

Across the country members shared testimony and held press conferences at school board meetings and City Council hearings—including DRUM in New York City, Youth Organizing Institute in North Carolina, Education Rights Network in Pittsburgh and Portland Parent Union in Oregon. Youth from the Student Advocacy Center of Michigan went to the state capitol to educate policy-makers about Rethink Discipline legislation, and Advocates for Justice in Education in Washington, DC held a community discussion with local school and juvenile justice officials on restorative justice.

Performance, Art and Video

In Los Angeles, after a week of classroom observations by CADRE parents in South LA schools, CADRE parent leaders were joined by ACLU-Los Angeles, The Labor Community Strategy Center, Public Counsel, and Youth Justice Coalition for a community role-play in front of Fremont High School demonstrating their vision of how School-Wide Positive Behavior Support (SWPBS) teams should look and feel. Other members across the country held musical performances, spoken word, theater of the oppressed, art galleries and game of life demonstrations on the school prison pipeline, including the Solutions Not Suspension Coalition and MnEEP in Minnesota, members of the DSC-New York Chapter, the California State Monterey Bay Chapter, Mothers and Others of Virginia and the Salt Lake City Peer Court. In Oakland, Black Organizing Project leaders released a statement to the U.S Department of Justice and a video about what youth and parents had to say about the presence of police in schools

Workshops, Community Forums and Discussions

Members and allies in Illinois, including Advance Youth Leadership Power, COFI/POWER-PAC, Woman of God’s Design and others, held teach-ins and workshops, including on implementation of new statewide school discipline laws. Members of the Mississippi Delta Catalyst Roundtable held community forums and workshops across the Delta, and in North Carolina the Blue Ribbon Youth Leadership Institute held events in local Chapel Hill schools throughout the week. Sistah Love in Atlanta and members in Virginia, including I Vote For Me, Advocates for Equity in Schools and Prom Bring It, held Know Your Rights Workshops, while the DSC-Bay Area Chapter in California and Citizen Action of New York held planning retreats. In New Jersey, the Statewide Education Organizing Committee held a forum on restorative justice, and the Paterson Education Fund and Parent Education Organizing Council held a forum on implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act.