Illustration by Talia Mermin
October 21 marked the beginning of the eighth annual National Week of Action Against School Pushout, a nationwide advocacy effort focused on ending the school-to-prison pipeline across the nation.
In the Bay Area and other locations across 28 states, local organizations held events such as classroom observations, community town halls, teach-ins, and training workshops. Students, parents, teachers and local legislators were involved.
The week of action was sponsored by the Dignity in Schools Campaign, a national coalition of over one hundred organizations dedicated to ending the school-to-prison pipeline and school pushout.
The week of action centered around six demands: shifting funding to positive discipline, funding and implementing positive intervention, ending arrest and pushout of minority students, assuring states comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, ending physical discipline, and investing in public education.
Various organizations across the Bay Area participated in the National Week of Action Against School Pushout.
Coleman Advocates, a San Francisco based organization that fights for equal education in San Francisco, was a participant. On Wednesday night, the group held a community town hall.
Following the event, the group released a newsletter recounting the highlights of the event. They said that students in San Francisco public schools described feeling fearful under near constant monitoring, in theory for security purposes, and harassment at school.
The report also said that young students are motivated to take action, and Coleman Advocates plans to continue advocating for equality in schools.
The Black Organizing Project (BOP), an Oakland organization, was another participant in the week of action.
BOP hosted a community town hall addressing police involvement in Oakland Unified School District and the research the group has done on the topic.