NYC Schools Launch Letter to DOE Calling for Changes to Discipline Code and Restorative Coordinators in Schools
New York, NY – From October 4 to October 11, members of the Dignity in Schools Campaign-NY are holding speak outs, workshops, and a Town Hall to raise awareness about the harsh school discipline policies that are pushing young people out of school. Youth, parents, and educators are calling on the de Blasio administration to implement positive, effective approaches like restorative practices that use discipline as a teaching—rather than destructive—moment in students’ lives.
The activities are part of the 5th Annual National Week of Action Against School Pushout, which includes over 100 events taking place in 50 cities across the country. Communities are calling on our school systems to adopt positive approaches to addressing behavior problems instead of relying on zero tolerance suspensions and expulsions, school police, and other punitive practices that push young people into a pipeline to prison.
In NYC, events are taking place across four boroughs and more than a dozen schools, in conjunction with Teachers Unite and DSC-NY, are launching a letter to the Mayor and Chancellor Carmen Fariña. Representing UFT chapters, restorative justice committees, and students support teams, educators are calling for long-overdue changes to the Discipline Code that would establish New York City as a progressive educational leader and for implementation of best practices similar to those adopted in other cities.
Recommended changes to discipline policy include:
· Requiring all schools to use Guidance Interventions, such as counseling, mediation or community circles, before any student can be suspended.
· Eliminating the ability of schools to suspend students for minor misbehavior under the category of “defying or disobeying authority” (Infraction B21).
· Providing funding and training for school staff to implement positive discipline approaches, such as conflict resolution, peer mediation and restorative practices, and in particular, hiring a Restorative Justice Coordinator in at least 20 schools this year.
You can view the full letter and list of supporters here: http://bit.ly/1tvFEu3
WHO: Parents, youth, educators, advocates and local and city policymakers
WHAT: Dignity in Schools Campaign National Week of Action Against School Pushout Visit http://www.dignityinschools.org/our-work/week-of-action to learn more and see a list of events across the country.
WHEN: October 4-11, 2014
WHERE: Local events are taking place in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Queens.
Spotlight event for press:
Breaking Silence: A Hearing on Girls of Color
Saturday, October 11, from 12pm to 4pm @ Columbia Law Review
435 W 116th St, NY, NY