Dignity in Schools Campaign: Communities demand counselors, not cops in their schools and call for positive school discipline during National Week of Action

Contact: Bianca Gomez, (608) 416-5337, bgomez@freedom-inc.org Zon Moua, zmoua@freedom-inc.org

Dignity in Schools Campaign youth, parents and educators in over 20 states host events, actions and community trainings to push back against school pushout

Madison, WI – Parents, teachers, students and other members of the nation-wide Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) coalition are gearing up for a week of action amplifying the call to replace school police and zero-tolerance discipline policies with approaches that build positive school climates and keep students in the classroom. Freedom, Inc youth leaders and community members will be hosting local actions in solidarity with DSC.

From October 20th to 29th, Freedom, Inc , along with DSC members in more than 20 states will hold events as part of DSC’s 9th Annual National Week of Action Against School Pushout. Under the theme of ‘Counselors, Not Cops,’ local community-based organizations will hold rallies, teach-ins, community forums and marches to push back against punitive, zero-tolerance discipline policies and call for the removal of regularly stationed police officers in schools.

Events Hosted by Freedom, Inc.

  • Town Hall Meeting: Safety In Schools for Black and Brown Students

    • Tuesday, October 23rd

    • 5:30-8pm

    • Black Cultural Center, 716 Langdon St, Madison, WI

  • MMSD School Board Meeting

    • Monday, October 29th

    • 5-9pm

    • Doyle Administration Building, 545 W. Dayton St, Madison WI

The Town Hall meeting is where we will share knowledge with community members about the systematic expulsion of Black and other POC students from MMSD and other educational institutions here in Madison. And the role of police in this racist process.

Youth Leaders will also attend the MMSD School Board Meeting to testify. They continue to demand that: 1) Police be removed from all MMSD schools. NO COPS IN SCHOOLS, 2) The school board invest in Youth of Color. We need counselors, bus passes, better school lunches, etc., and 3) Community be given control over school safety. Meaning students, families, and community need decision making power in our schools. Build transformative justice models instead of punishing youth!

On October 25th, DSC will also be releasing updates to their Model School Code on Education & Dignity. The Model Code presents recommended policies to schools, districts and legislators to help end school pushout. Updates include model policies to stop the school-to-deportation pipeline for immigrant students, ending racial bias in gang-profiling, and removing police from school campuses.

DSC members across the country are calling for a shift in funding priorities away from hiring school police towards hiring more counselors and other school staff trained in positive and culturally relevant approaches, such as Restorative Justice and Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). These positive approaches focus on building healthy relationships between teachers and students and treating discipline as a teaching moment rather than an opportunity to punish and push students out of school. Such methods have been found to improve behavior significantly, decrease suspensions and expulsions, and improve academic performance.

Find out more by visiting http://www.dignityinschools.org/our-work/week-of-action.

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