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)

Parent Advocacy

I was forwarded a clip from Samatha Carter’s Facebook page which rings a chord with me – this Parent Advocacy Group sounds like it might be an excellent opportunity for some deep conversations and exploring ways to impact our community.


I am so inspired listening to Mrs. Patricia Avery speak at Unit 4 Pipeline to prison/ Social justice seminar. Tonight we talked about how much power our teachers have over OUR kids. More money being spent to house the incarcerated than educate, redirecting negative behavior instead of punishing, showing more empathy for living situations. Did you know some teacher criminalize OUR kids before they even get a chance at life simply by the way they dress? Topics that definitely needed to be discussed. ATTENTION PARENTS!!! We need ur help on forming a parent advocacy group. Minister Angel Johnson, Dr. Evelyn Underwood, Mrs. Patricia Avery, Mrs. Valarie Ammons and I will be organizing this group. We have to help make the change that is much needed in our schools. If you are serious about raising productive citizens for OUR community and not inmates for a prison…YOU WILL WANT TO BE APART OF THIS GROUP. GOD BLESS OUR KIDS!! More details coming soon..


Just to be clear, I am not certain I agree with everything in the post above, but that is the beauty of listening and learning from other people – we are all different, yet we are all special. I believe we share a common core intent – to improve the lives of the children in our charge, and I mean “other people’s children” (re, Lisa Delpit) as well.