The great work of the Lynchburg Chapter was recently featured in a News & Advance article by Liz Ramos: “Public hearing focuses on raises, discipline at Lynchburg schools.”
From the article, “Phil Stump, a member of the Lynchburg chapter of Virginia Organizing, an organization dedicated to challenging injustice within communities, urged the division to move away from punitive punishments for students and instead implement restorative justice practices. Restorative justice focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and the community at large.
‘We are concerned about reducing the use of punitive disciplinary measures used in the schools, which remove the student from the school and involves students ultimately in the criminal system. We are concerned especially that these disproportionately affect students of color,’ Stump said.
Stump, one of four people addressing the school board during the public hearing, said more funding is ‘urgently needed’ to have a full-time staff member dedicated to implementing restorative justice practices and personnel who can write grants to secure state and federal funding to support the practices.
‘This matter is so urgent we should even consider cutting other funds in order to support it,’ Stump said.”