What: Tele-media conference
When: Wednesday, March 1 at 10:30 a.m.
Where: Call 712-432-1500, access code is 529122#
Lynchburg, Va. — Virginia Organizing will hold a tele-media conference on Wednesday, March 1 at 10:30 a.m. as part of the national Day of Empathy to address issues of mass incarceration. Many Virginia Organizing Chapters across the state have been working at the local level to address the school-to-prison pipeline, which contributes to the problem of mass incarceration by unnecessarily pushing young people into the corrections system.
According to a report by the Center for Public Integrity, Virginia refers more students to law enforcement and the criminal justice system than any other state.
Media are invited to join the call to have a discussion with parents and decision makers regarding the effect of school policies that have hurt families.
“In Fredericksburg, Virginia Organizing worked hard with Spotsylvania County Superintendent Scott Baker and Sheriff Roger Harris to stop the school-to-prison pipeline by addressing the relationship between school administration and the school resource officers. Spotsylvania County recently changed their memorandum of understanding with the sheriff’s office to make sure school resource officers are not arresting students for non-criminal behavior issues,” said Fredericksburg Chapter leader Eunice Haigler.
“My son had never been in trouble in his life, and was being scouted for colleges for baseball,” said Portsmouth parent Crystal Harrison. “After one altercation with another boy, he is now in alternative school and has lost his chance at a college scholarship. We need to end zero tolerance policies.”
“In Lynchburg City High Schools during the 2015-2016 school year, our students of color were about 15 percent more likely to be suspended for ‘disorderly conduct’ than their white classmates according to Department of Education data,” said Lynchburg Chapter leader Reason Chandler. “When my middle school aged daughter started having difficulty in her relationships with her teachers, I decided to get involved. It seemed the more I tried to help, the worse the situation became. I’m involved with my local chapter of Virginia Organizing to find solutions to keep our kids in school and to help them enjoy their time while they’re there.”
Virginia Organizing Chapters in Fredericksburg, Portsmouth, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Christiansburg, Danville, and Martinsville are all exploring options to reduce suspensions and disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline. The Day of Empathy is a national day of action organized by #cut50.
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.