#EndWarOnYouth 2015 Statement

#EndWarOnYouth 2015 Statement2016-11-29T17:39:07-05:00

Project Description

#EndWarOnYouth 2015 Statement—#EndWarOnYouth WAGE LOVE

Submitted by Alliance for Educational Justice, Washington, DC | Originally Published at Alliance for Educational Justice.

Today, on the eve of the one year anniversary of our national movement to #EndWarOnYouth, AEJ Youth Justice Corps members from the Baltimore Algebra Project, VAYLA­New Orleans and the Youth Organizing Institute travel to Columbia, SC to wage love. They, along with a coalition of SC­based organizations and ColorofChange, are delivering over 150,000 petition signatures to the local prosecutor, Solicitor Dan Johnson, calling on him to #DroptheCharges against Shakara and Niya, two of the survivors of the #AssaultatSpringValley. These two Black girls are still facing possible legal repercussions for arrests that School Resource Officer Fields was fired for making.

We applaud the bravery of Niya Kenny, who was arrested for coming to Shakara’s aid and telling other students to record the assault. She stands in the legacy of Black women sheroes­Harriet, Rosa, Ella, Assata. Her courageous act has drawn national attention to the problem of police in schools and the school to prison pipeline.

Under No Child Left Behind and Zero Tolerance policies, we have seen our schools transformed into prisons and our classrooms in cells.

EndWarOnYouth is a youth movement for peace and justice that seeks the end of state violence against Black youth and other youth of color. We seek the overthrow of the school to prison pipeline regime. We don’t seek its reform. We are not reformers. It can not be privatized or converted to charter. It must be dismantled and replaced with transformative community schools with dignity where education is liberation.

Education Is Liberation National Demands

1. Education Is A Human Right Guaranteed To All

We want an immediate end to the state violence known as the school to prison pipeline and all
zero-tolerance discipline policies in both public and charter schools, which target youth of color and push them out of schools and into the criminal system. We call on the Federal government to protect the human rights of Black, Brown, LGBQT and Undocumented youth from the school to prison pipeline through a National Student Bill of Rights and Constitutional Amendment.

2. Restorative Justice Now

We want the Federal Department of Education to require school districts that receive federal funding to
adopt restorative/transformative justice and remove willful defiance, disorderly conduct and other minor infractions as punishable by suspension, expulsion, ticketing and arrest from their student codes.
We call on the Department of Justice & the Department of Education to provide $500 million in federal funding to provide training, staffing and supports to schools working to fully implement restorative justice and/or other programs to end the school-to-prison pipeline.

3. End The Federal 1033 Program and Police Out of Schools

We want an end to the Federal 1033 Program, the return of all militarized weapons and machinery from local police departments and school districts back to the Department of Defense. We call for the removal of School Resource Officers from schools and the redistribution federal funds towards community-based solutions that work like community peace-builders, restorative justice programs, ethnic studies, school counselors and social workers.

4. Education Democracy

We want the end of the privatization of our education that strips our communities and families of our
human right to self-determine our education. We call for a moratorium on federal funding for new or
expanding charter schools, the end of mayoral control and state takeovers. We want education democracy and community control of our schools.

#EndWarOnYouth WAGE LOVE

“You don’t fight fire with fire. You fight fire with water. We’re gonna fight racism with solidarity.”
­Fred Hampton, Revolutionary Youth Organizer

This piece was reprinted by EmpathyEducates with permission or license. We thank the Director of The Alliance for Educational Justice, Jonathan Stith and the organization for their kindness, strength, wisdom, and for their enduring commitment to the People of African Descent. May we each consider and act on the War on our Youth. May we say and do all we can to ensure we Wage Love.