During the first week of April, youth of color in cities around the country held concerts, rallies, teach-ins and meetings with policy-makers to urge federal and local elected officials and school districts to fund counselors, social workers and community intervention workers instead of placing more police in schools in the aftermath of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Sign the petition to President Obama and the U.S. Congress in support of the You Can’t Build Peace with a Piece call for positive alternatives to police in schools. You can also read the Full Statement by Youth of Color on School Safety and Gun Violence in America.
This call to action was led by youth of color-led organizations, including members of the Youth Justice Coalition in California, DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving) in New York, the Nollie Jenkins Family Center in Mississippi and many others around the country, and is supported by allies from national groups such as the Dignity in Schools Campaign, Alliance for Educational Justice, Advancement Project, NAACP-Legal Defense Fund and ACLU.
April Fools Week of Action – Youth of Color Say Stop Foolish Policies, No More Police in Schools!
Stay connected to this movement by liking the You Can’t Build Peace with a Piece Facebook page.
Here are some highlights of actions and events from the April Fools Week of Action:
Los Angeles, CA – On April 1 the Youth Justice Coalition hosted the L.A. for Youth Rally and Concert from 2-6pm at L.A. City Hall, 200 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Watch this video promoting the concert!
On April 2nd and 3rd, youth spent the day walking the halls at L.A. City Hall, L.A. County Board of Supervisors and the state Capitol, handing out tickets, suspensions and expulsions to elected officials, their staffers and lobbyists for behaviors that would get them punished, kicked out of school, criminalized and even arrested if they were a student.
Throughout the week the Community Rights Campaign of the Labor Community Strategy Center held a series of trainings and teach-ins.
Mississippi – Nollie Jenkins Family Center held a rally at the local school board meeting in Holmes County, MS and Citizens for a Better Greenville hosted a block party and radio show in Greenville, MS.
Miami, FL – The POWER U Center for Social Change held a rally in Miami on April 3rd to call for Restorative Justice in schools as an alternative to policing.
Raleigh, NC – NC HEAT spoke at a Community Forum on April 1st at the campus of UNC Chapel Hill on the need for Restorative Justice programs in schools.
New York, NY – Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM) organized street outreach to youth throughout the week gathering support for the You Can’t Build Peace with a Piece call to action and petition. Sistas and Brothas United also mobilized their youth members in support of the campaign.
Chicago, IL – Project NIA in Chicago delivered a “Counselors Not Cops” petition to their Senators on April 3rd.
You can also access these resources developed by the Dignity in Schools Campaign and allies:
- Statement by Youth of Color on School Safety and Gun Violence in America
- Dignity in Schools Campaign statement in response to the NRA’s School Shield Proposal
- Issue Brief – Police in Schools Are Not the Answer
- ABA Newsletter Article – How Do We Make Schools Safer?