What: Rally to support students in the community and to hold local officials accountable for promises made to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline
When: Saturday, June 25 at 11 a.m.
Where: John J. Wright Educational and Cultural Center (7565 Courthouse Road, Spotsylvania, Virginia 22551)
Spotsylvania, Va.— Virginia Organizing and other groups plan to hold a rally at the John J. Wright Educational and Cultural Center in Spotsylvania County on June 25 at 11 a.m. to hold local officials accountable for promises made to stop the school-to-prison pipeline.
Research done by Virginia Organizing’s local Chapter found that students of color and students with disabilities were more likely to receive a suspension and/or referral to law enforcement, even though these students were no more likely to disobey school policies or violate laws than their white counterparts and those students were a significantly smaller proportion of the student body.
Virginia Organizing has been meeting with officials from Spotsylvania County Public Schools and the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Department and has received commitments to act, but have yet to see concrete action or results.
“If some form of student discipline is called for, all students must receive equal and proportionate treatment,” said Virginia Organizing Chapter leader Cliff Vaughan. “No longer is harsh, disproportionate treatment of black, brown, and special needs students acceptable. We must all work to make the school-to-prison pipeline a thing of the past.”
Eunice Haigler, another Virginia Organizing Chapter leader, agrees with Vaughan. “Children of African-American descent, some with disabilities, are pushed out of the school system through expulsion, suspension, and even arrest for behavior that should be a teachable moment instead of criminal activity. We need to shift the focus back to education in our schools. The school-to-prison pipeline takes away our children’s opportunities; we need a restorative justice model that will focus less on punishment and more on education for our young people.”
Media are invited and encouraged to attend the rally to learn more about the school-to-prison pipeline and the work of local community leaders to disrupt this system.
To interview a spokesperson for this event, please contact Amanda Pohl at 804-337-1912 or firstname.lastname@example.org.