School discipline recently grabbed national attention when a cell phone video surfaced showing a white male police officer shove a female student of color, flipping her over in her desk, then dragging the student across the classroom floor with considerable force.
“There is no justification whatsoever for treating a child like this,” said Victoria Middleton, Executive director for the South Carolina branch of the American Civil Liberties Union. “Regardless of the reason for the officer’s actions, such egregious use of force against young people who are sitting in their classrooms is outrageous. School should be a place to learn and grow, not a place to be brutalized.”
This issue was taken up multiple times at the 2015 Equity Summit in Los Angeles, leading to discussion on how effective punishment is in schools. Alan Obregon and Phuong Pham attended the summit with Mid City Community Advocacy Network’s Peace Promotion Momentum Team. The two students attend Crawford Law Academy and are active advocates for Restorative Justice: an alternative to the current school justice system.Read more
Students, teachers, staff, administrators, and concerned community members want to help speed up the slow implementation of Restorative Justice in San Diego schools. Members of Mid-City CAN's Peace Promotion Momentum Team (PPMT) made their case in front of the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) School Board meeting on May 24.
Team members requested that the community be allowed to view a draft of the Restorative Practices Implementation Plan the school district is currently writing. They want to be able to provide community feedback and input.Read more
"Back in 2009 folks came together and they said there has to be something different because so many kids in City Heights are getting caught up in the system and want to heal; it's time to heal," said Diana Ross, Executive Director at Mid-City CAN.
The crowd went wild: hooting and hollering its way up the isles and out of the school board auditorium, leaving the room nearly empty so the meeting could continue while the celebration went full blast out in the lobby. Smiles and hugs were interrupted with songs and chants, the elation of a milestone reached after years of hard work.
“This is a huge step for inclusion, equality, and overall fairness,” said Amina Mohammed, Food Justice Momentum Team Member.