Community Shows support of Safe and Supportive Schools Resolution

Tuesday evening marked the introduction of the landmark SFUSD “Safe and Supportive Schools” resolution, an important step in Coleman’s Solutions Not Suspensions Campaign.  Authored by Board of Education Commissioner Matt Haney, the Resolution speaks to the community demands to address disproportionate suspensions for African American students and other students of color, and pushes for implementation of restorative practices and positive behavior interventions and supports, among other issues.Over 75 students, parents, teachers and community members joined together for a rally in front of the SF Unified School District, with banners, illuminated signs proclaiming “Solutions Not Suspensions!” and youth and parents leading powerful chants.  Speakers included youth and parent members of Coleman Advocates, as well as young people from CHALK, HOMEY, Brothers Making Change, and Sunset Youth Services, sharing their experiences with school discipline and their passion for finding more positive solutions to resolve problems in our schools.  Additional speakers included two teachers sharing their positive experiences with restorative justice, Commissioner Haney, and Rachel Norton, President of the Board of Education. 

Energized from the rally outside, our crowd headed inside for the Board of Education meeting at 6pm to make sure Board members saw how many people were there in support of the Safe and Supportive Schools Resolution.  A meeting with a packed agenda, the resolution wasn’t introduced until after 9pm, but our “die-hard” crew of 15 youth, parents, educators and community members waited patiently, to speak in support of the resolution and community demands!  We want to also give thanks to the United Educators of San Francisco, who spoke in support of ending willful defiance suspensions in San Francisco Unified School District—we appreciate your support!

Lastly, thank you to all of the individuals and organizations who came out Tuesday night to support!  Special shout-outs to: CHALK, HOMEY, Mission Graduates, Youth Commission, LYRIC, Youth Leadership Institute, Public Counsel, TAY-SF, Sunset Youth Services, Brothers Making Change, Gray Panthers, Jobs With Justice, POWER, Solidarity Organizing Project, Young Community Developers, and Legal Services for Children, for showing up and making noise!  These groups are part of the more than 30 community organizations that have endorsed the Solutions Not Suspensions campaign.

Also during the meeting, the Board of Education unanimously voted to sell two vacant SFUSD properties to the Mayor’s Office of Housing to be used for affordable housing.  This is a huge win for San Francisco families who are struggling to make ends meet in San Francisco and every day fighting the threat of displacement.  THANK YOU to the Board of Education and to Commissioners Sandy Fewer and Hydra Mendoza for your leadership on this issue.  Also thanks to Supervisors Jane Kim and John Avalos who attended the meeting and spoke in support of this issue and wore stickers in support of the Safe and Supportive Schools resolution.

We are excited about next steps in the campaign and will be in touch with details as the resolution goes to a committee for a hearing in January.  In the meantime if you have any questions, please contact us:

Chelsea Boilard at cboilard@colemanadvocates.org or

Kevine Boggess at kboggess@colemanadvocates.org.

Read more coverage about the Resolution and Coleman’s Solutions Not Suspensions Campaign:

Center for Public Integrity: Data shows San Francisco’s black students suspended at extremely high rates

SF Examiner: SFUSD board to take up proposal to leave suspensions as last resort 

SF Bay Guardian: Suspending Judgment

Univision14 News Clip about the Wednesday Rally

    

 

 

DEC 14, 2013