Spotsylvania, Va.— Virginia Organizing leaders attended the September 12, 2016 Spotsylvania School Board meeting to speak out about the disproportionate number of suspensions for students of color and students with disabilities and the school-to-prison pipeline.
Members of the local Chapter of Virginia Organizing have met Spotsylvania School Superintendent Dr. Scott Baker to develop a plan to change current policy, but have not been satisfied with the results.
“As a member of the community, I believe that it is important for us parents to voice our concerns to the school board,” said Spotsylvania parent Delon Turner. “I stand with Virginia Organizing to request solutions to the problems we are experiencing in our schools. All students deserve equal access to education regardless of race, religion, disability, or behavior issues.”
Turner was one of several parents and community leaders who spoke at the meeting to raise awareness of suspensions and call on the school board to start thinking of alternative forms of punishment for disruptive behavior.
“Across the state, concern for the school-to-prison pipeline is building,” said Virginia Organizing leader Bryn Pavek. “Interest in restorative justice practices is bringing new options for our schools to reduce the amount of time students are removed from the learning environment.”
Virginia Organizing Chapters in Portsmouth, Danville, Lynchburg, and Norfolk are also addressing education issues such as suspension rates for students of color and those with disabilities and opportunity gaps in schools.
To interview a spokesperson for 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.