[COMM-ORG] Just and Fair Schools Fund Summer 2011 Newsletter

Discussion list for COMM-ORG colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Thu Jul 28 16:40:50 CDT 2011

 From: Don Cipriani <DCipriani at publicinterestprojects.org>

Just and Fair Schools Fund

Summer 2011 Newsletter

The [3]Just and Fair Schools Fund (JFSF) supports grassroots organizing

initiatives that work to eliminate harsh school discipline policies and

practices – and that uphold the right to education for all youth. Our

newsletter shares updates on parent and youth-led organizing victories,

actions, news, and resources to end the school-to-prison pipeline.



Subscribe to future JFSF Newsletters here: http://eepurl.com/bdPPU


-Restorative Justice in Miami-

After a multi-year community campaign led by [8]Power U Center for Social

Change, Miami-Dade County Public Schools announced in June that alternatives

to zero tolerance will be implemented in struggling schools. The Assistant

Superintendent in charge of the "Rising 19" schools, will hold restorative

justice trainings in 13 middle and high schools beginning in Fall 2011.


8. http://www.poweru.org

-Colorado Leads with Statewide Study of the School to Jail Track-

Colorado Governor Hickenlooper signed SB 133 into law in May. The bill

creates a committee of legislators, students, parents, educators, and

community members that will study the issue of school discipline and provide

legislative recommendations for the 2012 session. [9]Padres y Jóvenes Unidos

was at the forefront of organizing grassroots support for this step towards

ending the school to jail track in Colorado. Click [10]here for an overview

of the campaign in Colorado and the Books Not Bars Coalition.


9. http://padresunidos.org




-Southern Echo Hosts Workshops-

[11]Southern Echo and the Mississippi Delta Catalyst Roundtable convened

fifty participants in May for a workshop on alternative schools, youth

court, youth detention centers, and the Juvenile Detention Alternative

Initiative. Workshop participants examined the entire school-to-prison

pipeline, from the variety of entry points to incarceration. Learn more



11. http://southernecho.org

12. http://southernecho.org/s/?p=2384

-Rally & March for Youth Investment-

Nearly 1500 students assembled in May to demand investments in youth

education and employment. Young people—including members from [13]Coleman

Advocates for Children and Youth, [14]KOCO and [15]APNC ([16]VOYCE Project

members), Brighton Park Neighborhood Council (a [17]COFI partner),

[18]Philadelphia Student Union, and [19]Youth United for Change—marched from

the U.S. Department of Education building in downtown Washington D.C. to the

Department of Labor. As one student put it, young people are seeing more

funding for police, security guards, metal detectors and less for books,

teachers, and effective learning environments. To view footage of this

historic event, click on the image below.


13. http://www.colemanadvocates.org

14. http://www.kocoonline.org

15. http://www.apncorganizing.org

16. http://www.voyceproject.org

17. http://www.cofionline.org

18. http://home.phillystudentunion.org

19. http://youthunitedforchange.com

-NYC Students Demand Positive Alternatives to Suspensions-

Over 100 students, parents, educators, and elected officials spoke out

against suspensions for minor misbehavior at a press conference about school

discipline in June. The event was organized in partnership with the

[20]Urban Youth Collaborative, who is a member of [21]Dignity in Schools

Campaign NY. Organizers and members then provided testimony at a public

hearing on revisions to the NYC Department of Education’s Discipline Code.

UYC and DSC-NY expressed their concerns about schools’ discretion to suspend

students and push them out of the education system.


20. http://www.urbanyouthcollaborative.org

21. http://www.dignityinschools.org



-Gwinnett Parent Leadership Institute-

The Gwinnett Parent Coalition to Dismantle the School to Prison Pipeline

(aka [22]Gwinnett STOPP) is accepting applications for its first [23]Parent

Leadership Institute. Parents and community members are invited to explore

the school-to-prison pipeline, learn about alternatives to zero tolerance,

and gain new skills in grassroots advocacy.


22. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gwinnett-STOPP/113637029658?sk=info


-YTFG Highlights Gwinnett STOPP and School Discipline Reform in Georgia-

The Youth Transition Funders Group Blog has been actively following

developments in the fight for humane discipline policies in schools. The

[24]June 21 post describes the work of seven groups working to eliminate the

school-to-prison-pipeline in Georgia. The newest group on the scene,

[25]Gwinnett STOPP, is noted for its dedication to this issue.



25. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gwinnett-STOPP/113637029658?sk=info

-Padres Unidos featured in the Washington Post-

As evidenced by two recent articles on zero tolerance in the Washington

Post, school push out is on its way out. The article [26]More schools

rethinking zero-tolerance discipline stand explores the growing number of

communities that are scaling back harsh discipline policies in schools,

highlighting [27]Padres y Jóvenes Unidos’ strides in Colorado. Another

article, [28]Moving past zero-tolerance disciplinary policies contrasts

harsh discipline policies in the U.S. with positive practices such as

counseling instead of punishment in other countries.



27. http://www.padresunidos.org


-Miranda Rights for Young People-

Young people now enjoy expanded Miranda protections. The Supreme Court

recently ruled in J.D.B. v. North Carolina that police need to consider a

person’s age when determining whether she is “in custody.” J.D.B. was 13

years old when he was removed from class and questioned behind closed doors

by two police officers and two school administrators. Only after the student

confessed was he told that he could refuse to answer the investigator’s

questions and that he was free to leave. You can read more about the ruling



29. http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/9-11121.ZO.html

-Texas Town Hall A Success-

[30]Texas Organizing Project organized a town hall on harsh school

discipline policies in Dallas schools in May. Over 100 people attended the

event. As a result, two trustees of the Dallas Independent School District

signed a pledge to support a new disciplinary approach that would offer

students rewards and positive reinforcement for good behavior. Read more



30. http://www.organizetexas.org

31. http://www.organizetexas.org/node/846

-Pushing Back School Push-out-

At the [32]International Human Rights Funders Group Conference in July, the

JFSF facilitated a panel on the right to education, featuring [33]DRUM-

Desis Rising Up & Moving, [34]Advancement Project, and the [35]European Roma

Rights Centre. Speakers offered different solutions across cultures and

settings and explored successful funding strategies to address school push



32. http://www.ihrfg.org

33. http://www.drumnation.org

34. http://www.advancementproject.org

35. http://www.errc.org



-VOYCE on The True Cost of Zero Tolerance-

[36]Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE) just released [37]Failed

Policies, Broken Futures, a report on the various effects of harsh

discipline policies on learning and school resources. Young people, parents,

and teachers gathered on the steps of Chicago Public Schools in Mid-July to

call for an overhaul of the district’s school discipline policy. The

[38]Youth Transition Funders Group Blog has been monitoring the development

of the report, offering a sneak preview of the themes to be discussed in a

[39]letter by VOYCE youth and pulling out some [40]report highlights. Click

[41]here for coverage of the press conference.


36. http://www.voyceproject.org


38. http://cby25.blogspot.com




-Hot Off the Presses: A Statewide Study of School Discipline-

The [42]CSG Justice Center, in partnership with the Public Policy Research

Institute at Texas A&M University, released [43]Breaking Schools’ Rules: A

Statewide Study of How School Discipline Relates to Students’ Success and

Juvenile Justice Involvement. The study involved nearly 1 million Texas

public secondary school students, followed for at least six years. Among its

findings are that the majority of these students were suspended or expelled

between seventh to twelfth grade.


42. http://www.justicecenter.csg.org

43. http://justicecenter.csg.org/resources/juveniles

-Southern Echo and Community Organizing in the South-

[44]Southern Echo was highlighted as a driving force for change in the South

in a recent study commissioned by the National Committee for Responsive

Philanthropy. [45]This attachmen[46]t contains sections that examine the

impact of Southern Echo and [47]Concerned Citizens for a Better Tunica

County, a partner in the MS Delta Catalyst Roundtable. The full report may

be found by clicking [48]here.


44. http://www.southernecho.org



47. http://www.tunicateensinaction.org


-Power U: Telling It Like It Is-

[49]Power U Center for Social Change not only secured a pilot restorative

justice program in Miami public schools, but just released [50]Telling It

Like It Is, a report in comic book form written by in partnership with the

[51]Advancement Project. The report shares the student perspective on harsh

zero tolerance policies in Miami, based on the results of Power U’s survey

of over 600 students.


49. http://www.poweru.org

50. http://poweru.org/assets/images/pictures/APJ-001_Comic_FINAL_LoRes.pdf

51. http://www.stopschoolstojails.org

-Alternatives to Zero Tolerance in Georgia-

Judge Steven Teske, a juvenile court judge in Clayton County, Georgia,

recently published [52]A Study of Zero Tolerance Policies in Schools in the

Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing. Judge Teske is known

for spearheading a community-driven process to prevent and reduce the number

of school referrals to juvenile court. The new study examines how schools

can connect students with alternatives to zero tolerance and address the

underlying reasons for disruptive behavior. Judge Teske will be presenting

at [53]Gwinnett STOPP's Parent Leadership Institute, which trains parents in

education advocacy and school climate.



53. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gwinnett-STOPP/113637029658?sk=wall

-Philly Student Union: An Undeniable Force-

Villanova University Professor Jerusha Conner released new research

highlighting the learning environment [54]Philadelphia Student Union

provides, the effects of PSU membership, and PSU's influence on educational

policy, at both the school-based and district levels. The [55]report is

based on interviews with over 30 district officials, policy makers,

teachers, principals, and others.


54. http://home.phillystudentunion.org


-FFLIC on the Human Right to Education-

In this powerful [56]video, Damekia Morgan of [57]Families and Friends of

Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children talks about how the school-to-prison

pipeline pushes out children as young as the age of four. FFLIC is a member

of the [58]Dignity in Schools Campaign, which is shifting school discipline

to an approach based on the human rights of children.


56. http://vimeo.com/7923794

57. http://www.fflic.org

58. http://www.dignityinschools.org

-Every Second a Public School Student is Suspended-

The newly-released [59]2011 State of America’s Children Report by the

Children’s Defense Fund devotes sections to questions of education and

juvenile justice. Many findings clearly illustrate the disproportionate

impact of the school-to-prison pipeline on children of color.



-SPIN Academy-

As part of JFSF’s technical assistance programs, we are pleased to send 13

grantees to the [60]SPIN Academy, a four day residential training retreat

for participants to gain solid grounding in the basics of strategic

communications. SPIN participants will not only share ideas about

alternatives to harsh discipline, but will have the opportunity to learn

best practices from different issue areas such as immigrant rights, economic

justice, environmental issues, reproductive rights, civil rights, and media

reform. This year’s training will be August 23-26 in Petaluma, California.


60. http://www.spinproject.org/section.php?id=17

-Criminal Justice Funder & Activist Network-

The [61]Criminal Justice Funder & Activist Network (CJFAN) is a new

initiative to help advocates, service providers, affected communities, and

funders work together to secure a more just and humane criminal justice

system. One of CJFAN’s first member organizations is [62]Families and

Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children (FFLIC), based in New Orleans.

If you are interested, complete the [63]Get Connected Questionnaire and join

the Network.


61. http://cjfanetwork.org

62. http://www.fflic.org


-Grants Available for Legal Strategies-

The [64]Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is accepting proposals to fund

legal work designed to move public school systems towards replacing

exclusionary methods of discipline with proven and promising school-based

discipline frameworks and additional school-based supports. The deadline for

submission is September 16, 2011. Please click [65]here for the RFP.


64. http://www.splcenter.org


For more information about JFSF, please contact Sasha Hammad, Program

Assistant, at (212) 378-4090.

_Upcoming Events_

_White House Community Leaders Briefing Series_

_Until August 26_

Washington, DC

Every Friday this summer, the White House will open its doors to grassroots

leaders from around the country. Space is limited so [66]sign up today.



[67]Dignity in Schools Campaign_ Days at the Capitol_

_July 24-26_

Washington, DC


67. http://www.dignityinschools.org

Members and supporters of the Dignity in Schools Campaign will share their

stories, and make their voices heard on Capitol Hill. For more information,

please contact [68]Chloe Dugger, Campaign Coordinator.


68. mailto:chloe at dignityinschools.org?subject=Days%20at%20the%20Capitol

_Power from the People: Education Organizing Lessons from New York and Los


_October 2_

2:30- 5:30 pm

Los Angeles, CA

Attending the [69]Grantmakers for Education Annual Conference? Join the

Working Group on Education Organizing to learn how to use innovative

research and action to advance community organizing for education reform.

Featuring [70]Community Asset Development Re-defining Education (CADRE),

[71]Youth Justice Coalition, the Institute for Democracy, Education & Access

(IDEA), the Annenberg Institute, and the NYC Coalition for Educational



69. http://edfunders.org/programs/conference/2011conference/programs.asp

70. http://www.cadre-la.org

71. http://www.youth4justice.org


Randy Stoecker

e-mail:  rstoecker at wisc.edu

Department of Community and Environmental Sociology
350 Agricultural Hall
1450 Linden Drive
Madison, Wisconsin

Tel: (608) 890-0764
Fax: (608) 262-6022 

Note:  Due to the continuing possibility of open records requests for faculty e-mails, I cannot guarantee the confidentiality of any e-mail communications using the wisc.edu e-mail system. You can contact me on my personal e-mail at stoecker.randy at gmail.com

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