Another take on Tuesday’s Social Justice Committee meeting

This from Chuck Jackson, who also attended the Social Justice Committee meeting on Tuesday, September 30th (see the agenda):


School to Prison Pipeline presentation by Jenine Wehhbeh, Illinois Safe School Alliance. Look for her presi presentation on the social justice page on the unit 4 website (LT said in about a week).
One link from it that I can recall is

Her focus was on reforming the no tolerance policies that target severe consequences for minor infractions.
Then bullying, schools aren’t handling it well. Bullying needs to be handled better-in a way that creates dialogue rather than is simply punished.
Systemic oppression. Disproportionate contact. Black students 4x more likely to be expelled than white students, etc.
LGBTQ teens make up only 5-7% of the population. 3x that percentage are disciplined.
Prison moratorium project, website.

Restorative justice
1. Repair harm caused
2. Cooperative amongst stakeholders
3. Transformation

Try to teach socio-emotional learning, empathy, etc.
1. Adopt a social emotional lens
Teach to the whole child
2. Know your students and develop your cultural competency.
Learn and affirm the social and cultural capital your students bring to the classroom.
3. Plan and deliver effective student-centered instruction.
Teach with the purpose and urgency your students deserve.
4. Move the paradigm from punishment to development.
Model, reinforce and praise polarities healthy behavior
5. Resist the criminalization of school.
Keep kids in the classroom and police out.

Scenarios and conversation about them.
End of schools to prison pipeline presentation

Restorative justice
Patricia Avery
Good things in unit 4, e.g. Social justice committee
Alarming things too, e.g. Harsh discipline practices
Three most severe practices (suspension, out of school suspensions, expulsions) have doubled in middle school and tripled in high school here.
Tragic story of her personal experience with the school to prison pipeline

Sara Balgoyen
Restorative Qs
(went by too fast to make notes of them, but they were helpful)

4 Responses to “Another take on Tuesday’s Social Justice Committee meeting”

  1. Karen Says:

    If students are assaulting other students at school, ‘keeping the police out’ is not up to the school, nor should it be IMO. Parents can file police reports for physical assault of their children no matter where it occurs. Pre-SRO, weren’t there up to 700-800 911 calls per school year across the middle and high schools? Maybe a minority of students need a different education environment so that the rights of the majority of students (safe learning enviornment) are protected. I invite Ms. Avery to detail what is so harsh about the discipline currently going on in Unit 4 schools. Very specific examples of too harsh given the behavior, the history of behavior of the student and other very relevant factors. I know some in this community believe that simple physical assault (at school) is criminalizaing ‘normal kid behavior.’ This is one lens (generational? cultural? ???) through which to view it. However, many others view it through a lens consistent with current law. Systemic oppression… It’s a narrative, but, where’s the proof to support it? Disparate impact does not equal racial oppression.

    • charlesdschultz Says:

      Again, I doubt very much that Ms. Avery is reading this. Have you tried to contact the NAACP or the Minsterial Alliance in an effort to ask these questions?

      I am curious, were at you at the Social Justice meeting? It is quite possible that some of your answers could well have been answered at the meeting, but I’ll have to ask around in order to get some facts to that extent. Maybe Chuck Jackson can help fill in some gaps.

  2. Rebecca Patterson Says:

    I’m behind on this but they are trying to take more kids to the new program, I can’t think of the name of it offhand but it’s where they try to get them hooked up with services, etc. It keeps them from being arrested and entered into the system and from listening to the scanner they send a lot of kids there.

    • charlesdschultz Says:

      @Rebecca, are you perhaps thinking of the ACTIONS program, led by Catherine Ahsell? Yes, they try to divert as many kids as possible towards this program instead of out-of-school suspensions and expulsions. But the student and family have a choice – while attendance at ACTIONS is mandatory, it is not enforced per se.

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