National Week of Action Focuses on Racial Disparities in School Discipline

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On day three of the Dignity in Schools Campaign's (DSC) 4th annual National Week of Action the DSC is calling on local, state and federal policy-makers to stop school pushout and end racial disparities in school discipline. Day three focuses on launching a national action alert to call on senators to hold schools accountable for disciplinary disparities and to provide more funding and support for implementing positive approaches, like Restorative Practices and School-Wide Positive Behavior Supports.

Across the country, youth of color are being pushed out of school by unwelcoming school environments and harsh discipline policies that make schools feel more and more like prisons. Black and Latino students are punished more severely than white students for the same behaviors, resulting in higher rates of suspension, expulsion and arrest. In 2009, Black students made up 18% of school enrollment nationwide, but 46% of students suspended more than once.

At NESRI, we encourage you to participate in the Week of Action by promoting the Racial Disparities on School Discipline theme on social media to amplify the DSC's message far and wide. You can share or embed the DSC's featured video, use their sample tweets below, or share your own messages and resources related to Solutions Not Suspensions. Make sure to tag or mention DSC or use the suggested hashtags so they see that you’ve joined the conversation!

How Can You Take Action to Stop Racial Disparities in School Discipline

Follow DSC members and allies as they hold rallies, meet with policy-makers and engage students and parents in calling for solutions to school pushout:

  • Jersey City-NJ – Statewide Education Organizing Committee will hold a rally in front of City Hall to highlight high rates of suspension.
  • New York City, NY – Dignity in Schools Camapign-NY Chapter will kick off a series of visits with City Council members and other policy-makers to gather endorsements for their 2014 Discipline Code policy platform.
  • Oakland-CA – Black Organizing Project hosts a Pushback on Pushout Potluck to engage youth and partner organizations, the DSC Bay Area Chapter holds a Youth Council Meeting to discuss school pushout and ACLU of Northern California will collect stories about how school pushout impacts LGBTQ youth.
  • Paterson-NJ – Paterson Education Organizing Committee and Paterson Education Fund will host a meeting for parents on their campaign to stop out-of-school suspensions and on the DSC Model Code.
  • Saint Paul-MN – Twin Cities Save the Kids and Minnesota Minority Education Project (MMEP) will hold "Push Back on Pushout: Panel Discussion on Schools," and MMEP will release a policy brief on Protecting Students Human Right to Education.

Sample Tweets:

  • Day 3 of #WoA2013 we highlight racial disparities in #SchoolPushout
  • Black students=18% enrollment but 46% students suspended more than 1x & 39% of expelled. #RacialDisparities in #SchoolPushout
  • 70% of students arrested at school or referred to police are Latino or Black #RacialDisparities in #SchoolPushout
  • Students of color are experiencing record numbers #SchoolPushout fueling the #School2Prison pipeline
  • #SchoolPushout in your district? Check the suspension rates for your local schools
  • Look up your school district’s data by race at and insert in a tweet, for example: Black students are ___ times as likely to be suspended in  _______ district. End #RacialDisparities in #SchoolPushout

Post on Facebook:

  • The Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) finds youth of color not only face harsher discipline than White students, but they are more often referred to law enforcement. Watch DSC’s new video on racial disparities at Push back against #SchoolPushout and check your local schools’ suspension rates
  • How well are American schools doing? The data shows startlingly racial disparities in #SchoolPushout -Civil Rights Data Collection summary

For more info including a full list of events throughout the week, visit the DSC's Week of Action page: