FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Shoshi Chowdhury, Dignity in Schools Campaign-NY, 347-832-8391
Kesi Foster, Urban Youth Collaborative, 646-404-4947
**Media advisory for Monday, March 2nd, 5:00 pm Outside the HS for Fashion Industries**
As DOE Proposes Changes to City School Discipline Code, Council Leaders Join Youth, Educators and Advocates to Call for Additional Reforms to the Discipline Code and Urge Solutions that Work
In the 2013-2014 school year, there were 53,504 suspensions across New York City public schools, with infraction B21 or “defying authority” as the most common reason for suspensions.
“Suspensions for minor infractions, like “defying authority”, are ineffective, because they fail to address the causes of behavior or to identify solutions to prevent the behavior from happening again. We need solutions that work, like positive classroom management strategies, mediation and restorative justice,” said Shoshi Chowdhury of Dignity in Schools Campaign-New York.
Furthermore, research shows that suspensions for minor subjective infractions, such as B21, have a disparate impact on black, Latino, LGBTQ, and students with disabilities. Of the 53,504 suspensions last year, black and Latino students made up 89% of the suspensions. Black students make up only 26% of the student population, but accounted for 53% of all suspensions. Students with disabilities make up 18% of the student population, but accounted for 36% of all suspensions.
After eliminating suspensions for a similar infraction last year, Los Angeles Unified School District saw a sharp drop in suspensions and a significant reduction in racial disparities.
Studies show that even one suspension can greatly increase a student’s chances of dropping out. To create safe and supportive schools for all students, we must mandate guidance interventions, provide funding, resources, and training for positive alternatives to suspensions, and eliminate suspensions for B21.
WHAT: City Council Members, Students, Educators and Advocates to hold Press Conference calling for the Elimination of Suspensions for Infraction B21 “Defying Authority.”
WHEN: Monday, March 2nd at 5:00 p.m.
WHERE: 225 W24 Street, High School for Fashion Industries
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark –Viverito (Invited)
City Council Chair of Public Safety Vanessa Gibson
City Council Member Antonio Reynoso
City Council Member Jumaane Williams (Invited)
Jamaal A. Bowman, Founding Principal, Cornerstone Academy for Social Action Middle School
Matthew Garcia, Student, Sistas and Brothas United and the Urban Youth Collaborative
Imade Ojo, Student, Girls for Gender Equity