What: “School to Prison Pipeline” Community Workshop
When: Tuesday, February 2 at 7 p.m.
Where: Lee Hall 412, University of Mary Washington (1301 College Avenue, Fredericksburg, VA 22401)
Fredericksburg, Va.—The Fredericksburg Chapter of Virginia Organizing will hold a community workshop to discuss the “school to prison pipeline” in local schools and what concerned members of the community can do to help. The workshop will take place in Lee Hall 412 at the University of Mary Washington at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 2.
“As a parent in the Black community, I’m afraid for the future of our children, especially our boys and students with disabilities,” said Fredericksburg Chapter leader Eunice Haigler. “The taking of noncriminal, teachable experiences in schools and making them criminal is actually taking the childhood away from our children, introducing them to the criminal justice system, and greatly diminishing their chances of continuing their education and graduating. We need to stop looking at young Black males as a threat and see them as children.”
“Virginia currently has the highest rate of resource officer intervention in the nation,” said Dakota Ziegler, a Fredericksburg Chapter Virginia Organizing leader. “Students across the state are three times more likely than the national average to be referred to officers that have been better trained to deal with adults than children.”
Virginia Organizing leader Steve Rabson is concerned that officers are now handling issues that principals and school administrators used to take care of.
“Virginia ranks first in referring misbehaving students to the courts and police, often for incidents once handled by a call to parents and a meeting in the principal’s office,” said Rabson. “Too many of our youth are suspended from school and incarcerated, which ends their education and seriously diminishes their job prospects. More discipline should be handled by school administrators in consultation with parents rather than by police officers stationed in the schools.”
The workshop is part of ongoing organizing and action on school discipline in local schools by the Fredericksburg Chapter of Virginia Organizing.
To interview a spokesperson of Virginia Organizing, please contact Amanda Pohl at 804-337-1912 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virginia Organizing is a non-partisan statewide grassroots organization that brings people together to create a more just Virginia.