One year ago, on June 6, 2020 students, families, educators & school staff across NYC took to the streets from the headquarters of the UFT to Tweed courthouse with a clear message: We have a moral obligation to fulfill the youth mandate for Police Free Schools.
We are back tomorrow on June 5th. Meet us in the streets! We will begin with a rally in Washington Square Park (Waverly Pl / 5th Ave) at 11am and march to City Hall.
Later this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Council will be making a decision on the NYPD’s massive, bloated budget. The outcome of these political negotiations will determine whether NYC public schools double down on the longstanding violence of school policing, or instead fund the increased opportunities, supportive school staff, and resources that young people demand. Join us tomorrow to take action and ensure these resources are directed where they belong — to the services our students and their families need.
Along with the New York Chapter of the Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC-NY), Sistas & Brothas United, Teachers Unite, Urban Youth Collaborative, Teens Take Charge, Moms United For Black Lives, and other organizations, we call on our elected officials to prioritize student well-being and healing over criminalization. It is urgent that we all act NOW, before the FY22 city budget is passed to ensure all of our students are protected and supported.
The Dignity in Schools FY22 Police Free Schools plan is as follows:
1. Fully Fund Meaningful Citywide Restorative Justice (start with $118.5M)
2. Expand Access to Social & Emotional Supports ($177M)
3. End School Policing and halt plans to create a policing division in the DOE
There can be no “safe school reopening” in September without a commitment from the Mayor de Blasio, Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter, and the City Council that our children will be met with support & resources, not criminalization, and detention as they work through this year’s trauma.
Thankfully, our schools have seen a budget increase for the coming year, but we must be sure that those funds are directed to trauma-informed care, culturally responsive curricular materials, decreasing class size, and hiring additional Black and Brown teachers, guidance counselors, social workers and other school staff. We CANNOT afford to waste these funds on policing and incarcerating our children.
We need to center the voices of our most impacted families and fight to create truly anti-racist schools. NYC public schools must prioritize hiring Black and Brown people into jobs that support young people’s social, emotional, and mental health. We want restorative justice coordinators, paraprofessionals, youth advocates, community outreach coordinators, parent coordinators, and more.
Please join us tomorrow at 11AM tomorrow, June 5 in Washington Square Park so that Mayor de Blasio and the City Council hear our demands for Police Free Schools.