The School Climate Bill of Rights was adopted unanimously by San Diego Unified on July 11, 2017. Authored by Mid-City CAN’s Peace Promotion Momentum Team after years of organizing, the bill of rights is a significant step towards dismantling the school to prison pipeline. To address this system of criminalization leading many youth out of their school and into prisons, the bill of rights grants students, parents, staff, and community members six core rights.
“Students, staff, administrators, and parents/guardians have a right to a positive, collaborative, healthy, healing school environment. Schools should strive to be sanctuaries for students and parents/guardians,” reads the first right.
So, what’s next?
The adoption of the School Climate Bill of Rights and the recent creation of San Diego Unified’s Department of Restorative Practices lay the foundation for the implementation of Restorative Practices as the default way to address harm in California's second largest the school district.
To be successful, the implementation of Restorative Practices will need to include comprehensive training and development, transparency, evaluation, as well as a Restorative Practices Advisory Committee (RPAC) made of students, parents/guardians, community members, and San Diego Unified staff.
The Restorative Practices Advisory Committee is essential as it will give voice to community members and stakeholders in the implementation of Restorative Practices. In November, Mid-City CAN completed a series of four workshops in which school staff, community members, and students convened to create a shared vision for the RPAC. Facilitated by Paul L. Watson, Jr., President/CEO of The Global Action Research Center, the group decided what the composition of the RPAC will be.
The advisory committee will consist of 6 community members, 4 students, 9 school staff (principals & teachers), 1 district staff, 6 parents, 1 school police officer, and 1 human resources staff.
As we embark on the long, collaborative process of creating healthy, healing school environments, Mid-City CAN is committed to the long-term success of the project and collaboration with San Diego Unified. We look forward to facilitating the creation of an RPAC that has meaningful impact on how harm is addressed in our schools.