July 12 — 2:59 pm, 2010

Student activists, allies head to DC July 19

This week’s guest blog comes from Anand Jahi of Youth United for Change.


At 8:00 a.m., on Monday, July 19, three buses carrying 150 students, parents, and community members will set out from Philadelphia to Washington D.C. 

We won’t be alone. 

Community members and organizers from across the country will converge in D.C. as part of the Alliance for Educational Justice’s national day of action. 

We are demanding that the federal government dismantles the school-to-prison pipeline, which funnels young people out of schools and into the criminal justice system.

The AEJ is a new national alliance of youth organizing and intergenerational groups working for educational justice. AEJ aims to bring grassroots groups together to bring about changes in federal policy, build a national infrastructure for the education justice sector, and build the capacity of our organizations.

Our current, top federal legislative priority is to ensure that the upcoming reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (commonly known as “No Child Left Behind”) addresses the school-to-prison pipeline that has been created in our communities. 

Across the country, and particularly in communities of color, students are big pushed out of schools and toward the juvenile and criminal justice systems by the over-use of out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, referrals to alternative schools, and school-based arrests and referrals to law enforcement. These policies and practices have made schools hostile or alienating environments for young people, worsening school culture, school safety, and academic performance.

During the reauthorization of ESEA, we urge Congress to take note of the devastating impact of these punitive policies and practices and begin to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline by incorporating AEJ’s three policy priorities:

  • Require annual public reporting of school discipline data.
  • Hold all schools accountable for their use of harsh and inequitable disciplinary practices.
  • Fund the development and implementation of community-based solutions to the school-to-prison pipeline.

Call (215) 423-9588 to reserve your seat on the bus.

Schedule:

  • 8:00 a.m. – Buses leave from YUC at 1910 N Front St (parking available)
  • 12 – 1 p.m. – Youth speak out in D.C.
  • 1:30 – 3 p.m. – Hill briefing
  • 3 p.m.– Buses leave D.C.


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