Last week, the hedge fund backed pro charter school advocacy group Families for Excellent Schools (FES) filed a lawsuit against New York City public schools claiming that the civil rights of black and Latino are being violated because “violence” is out of control in our public schools. This organizations lawsuit and campaign is a slap in the face to the black and Latino parents, educators, community members, and especially young students that have fought for decades and continue to fight for racial justice and civil rights in public education. It is appalling, that in 2016, a white led organization claiming to represent black and Latino communities could so callously use their resources and influence to further dehumanize and criminalize black and Latino children.
UYC youth leader Miaija Jawara talks to the Associated Press about the impact of colleges using school discipline history for admissions decisions.
“They are basic yes-no questions that ask whether a college applicant ever got into trouble in high school. Yet they’re anything but simple, say some who want run-ins at school or with the law taken out of the college admissions equation.
Advocates, school districts and even some colleges share concerns about youthful mistakes haunting students into adulthood, especially minority students, who federal statistics show are suspended and arrested at disproportionately higher rates than their white peers.”
Every family that sends their children to a public school in black and Latino neighborhoods in New York City knows that resources are in short supply and the basic educational needs of our children are often not met. Which is why it’s surprising and deeply concerning that, this week, the City Council just handed $20 million of public funding over to private schools.
On Monday, the New York City Council passed a law that leaves the public on the hook for a $20 million bill from private and religious schools. City Council Intro. No. 65-A requires the public to pay for the salary and training costs for at least one security guard at nonpublic schools that enroll at least 300 students and two or more guards at schools that enroll more than 500 students. The new law is a bad use of money that will cost the city millions.
When the world saw the recent video of a white police officer brutalizing a young black woman in her high school classroom in South Carolina by putting her into a chokehold, flipping her over in her desk and throwing her across the classroom, we were horrified. Sadly, we weren’t surprised. Unfortunately, videos and images of police brutality against black children and women have become so common, the hashtags so familiar, that #assaultatSpringValleyHigh was all too similar to #mckinneypoolparty, an attack on a 14-year-old black girl by a white police officer at a kids’ pool party in Texas.
In New York City, more than 90,000 high school students go through metal detectors every morning, and almost all of them are black and Latino. Black and Latino students make up 69 percent of all students, but account for 89 percent of all students suspended and 94 percent of all students that are arrested. While the numbers for suspensions and arrests have declined, we will not know the full extent of arrests, criminal summons and suspensions in our schools until the NYPD and Department of Education release the data that must now be collected as part of recent amendments to the Student Safety Act. As of now, the arrest and summons data only reflect the NYPD’s School Safety Division and do not include the number of arrests and summons carried out by local precinct officers.
We appeared on Democracy Now to talk about the violent attack on two young black women at their high school, Spring Valley High, and violence perpetuated against black women and children by the state.
New York City has more than 5,000 police officers patrolling the city’s schools—that’s more than the combined number of school guidance counselors and social workers. Nationwide, more than 17,000 officers work in the school. What happens when students are arrested in the classroom? We look at what many experts call the “school-to-prison pipeline.”