New Yorkers Will March Across Brooklyn Bridge to Call Attention to High Suspension Rates

Contact: Shoshi Chowdhury, Dignity in Schools Campaign-NY, 347-832-8391.

New York, NY – On October 5th at 7:00 p.m., New York City students, parents, educators, and education advocates will begin a candlelight vigil and march across the Brooklyn Bridge carrying 206 life-size student cut outs, representing the number of students suspended each day in New York City schools. Students, parents, and public officials will stop and speak out at Tower One on the Bridge to demand that the NYC Department of Education reduce suspension rates and implement alternative policies that focus on resolving conflict in positive ways to keep youth in school.

The march, organized by Dignity in Schools Campaign-New York (DSC-NY), is part of the 3rd Annual National Week of Action on School Pushout, with Dignity in Schools Campaign members in over 20 cities across the country holding marches, rallies, teach-ins and trainings from September 29 – October 6 to raise awareness about the more than 3 million students suspended out-of-school each year and call on states and school districts to implement positive discipline policies.

As thousands across the country demand change, DSC-NY coalition members assert that it is time for New York City to address this pushout crisis. During the last school year there were 73,441 suspensions in NYC schools. The DSC-NY coalition is calling for citywide funding and implementation of positive, school-wide approaches to discipline that improve school climate, reduce conflict, and increase learning.

What:     Vigil and March Across Brooklyn Bridge carrying life-size cut outs of 206 students highlighting the number of school suspensions per day in NYC.

When:     October 5, 2012 7:00 p.m.

Where:     Brooklyn Bridge Entrance (Cadman Plaza and Prospect Street)

Who:     Students, Parents, Advocates, and Teachers with Advocates for Children of New York, American Friends Service Committee-New York, Brooklyn Movement Center, Center for Community Alternatives, Children’s Defense Fund-New York, Coalition for Asian American Children and Families, Coalition for Gender Equity in Schools, Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM), Future of Tomorrow, Make the Road New York, Mass Transit Street Theater, National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI), New Settlement Apartments Parent Action Committee, Pumphouse Projects, Sistas and Brothas United, Teachers Unite, The Sikh Coalition, Urban Youth Collaborative (UYC), Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice, Youth on the Move, and Youth Represent.

Visuals:     Candlelight vigil with students and advocates wearing matching green t-shirts carrying 206 student cut-outs that represent the number of students suspended each day in NYC schools.