Last week we hosted an event called the School-to-Prison Pipeline Policy Chat. We did this in partnership with ACEE aka the Atlanta Coalition of Educational Equity. The school to prison pipeline is a national trend that is occuring in our schools daily. It pushes students into the juvenile justice system due to zero tolerance policies and therefore targets students of color, particularly black boys.
Our event brought together educators and community stakeholders that were interested in this issue, and we met to use our brain power to find solutions to the problem. Over good food with good company we thought through the different systemic issues that make this problem a reality. Sadly a lot of it kept coming back to racism and inequity. Our kids are perceived as more threatening, poorly behaved, and so suspension is often over utilized. By no means did we solve the problem in one night, nor was that the goal. Instead the goal was to organize and mobilize. So at the end of the night we asked everyone to take out their phones and tweet their local school board representative about the issue at hand. In our local Atlanta area the statistics are staggering, and we made sure to share that with these elected school board members. The Tweet read….
There were 14,268 suspensions in APS in 2019, most of the students affected were black (93%) males (65%). We care about the school to prison pipeline, and want to see Policy around Restorative Practices being used before suspending our children #werestoremore #LEE #letsdiscuss
Our end goal is to ultimately get some legislation on the books that protect our children, but in the meantime we have to organize and continue to mobilize with events like this that get everyone talking and on the same page for action. If you know someone who would be interested in attending an event like this in the future, please drop their email below as we’d love to get in touch with them and have them be a part of this movement.