Who: Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, Project NIA, Chicago Freedom School
What: Stand Up/Speak Out – Youth Panel and Town Hall
Where: Jane Addams Hull House, 800 S Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60607
When: Monday, September 30th, 6:00 – 8:30PM
Join the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance (the Alliance), Project NIA, Chicago Freedom School and a number of other city wide community organizations at Jane Addams Hull House for a Youth Panel and Town Hall meeting on Monday, September 30th, 2013, 6:00 – 8:30PM to raise awareness, share stories, and take action towards preventing the exclusion of young people from public education. Register for the event HERE.
As part of the 4th Annual Dignity in Schools National Week of Action against School Pushout, young people from across Chicago will be joining youth, parents and educators in 26 cities across 18 states to demand our school systems adopt positive approaches to discipline like restorative justice practices and positive behavior supports instead of relying on exclusionary and punitive discipline policies, school police or armed guards, and other punitive discipline practices that push young people out of school.
In 2010, Chicago Public Schools spent $51.4 million on school-based security guards, nearly 15 times more than the $3.5 million it spent on college and career coaches. In addition Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has closed 49 schools, the largest mass public school closing in U.S. history, and has fired more than 2,000 educators. Nearly all of these closings were in communities of color.
We also know that LGBTQ youth are disproportionately represented in the Juvenile Justice System. Gay and Transgender teens make up 5 – 7% of the total youth population but represent upwards of 15% of youth involved with the nation’s Juvenile Justice System. This is due to exclusionary school policies, harassment, bullying, and intolerant/unsafe school environments as well as restricted access to vital socio-economic resources. These factors all create a forceful pushout of LGBTQ students from their schools and into the juvenile justice system.
At this event, we will first hear from current and former CPS and Charter school students about their experiences with exclusionary discipline and school push out, as well as their efforts to create a more effective and just system. Then, hear from a group of city wide representatives, including the Justice Advisory Council which is under the direction of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. They will be discussing their concerns about the overuse of exclusionary discipline and pushout of Illinois students, their consequences to young people and promising solutions.