Oct. 4-11: 40+ Cities Hold National Week of Action to Push Back Against Suspensions & Policing in Schools
Project NIA releases white paper on gains and ongoing challenges in organizing to interrupt school-to-prison pipeline (STPP)
CHICAGO 10/3/14 — For the third time in five years, Project NIA is participating in the Dignity in Schools Campaign’s National Week of Action on School Pushout (October 4-11). As an organization dedicated to juvenile justice, Project NIA works diligently to interrupt school pushout, which is often described as the “school-to-prison pipeline.”
In 2014, the advocacy and organizing of Project NIA and other local groups, including COFI, VOYCE, and Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law (CLC), have achieved major victories in the fight to break this pipeline. The wins include:
1. An agreement from Chicago Public Schools to regularly provide and publish data about expulsions and suspensions2. The passage of SB 2793, requiring all Illinois schools to collect and publish information about school discipline and to create plans for improvements when needed3. Significant enhanced focus on restorative practices in the Chicago Public Schools Student Code of Conduct, along with increased clarity and specificity in the policy
Today, Project NIA is releasing a white paper authored by Dr. Michelle VanNatta that documents these gains and as well as some ongoing challenges in creating positive futures for Chicago’s children. Paper can be accessed here.
Mariame Kaba, Project NIA’s founding director, said: “We and our colleagues across the city are encouraged by the progress that has been made in the past few months to increase school discipline data transparency and to revise formal policies that focused on punishment over learning. There is still much more work to do and more resources to be allocated for that work. These recent victories are just the beginning.”