Making Things Right Again: Restorative Practices in DC Schools

By Tarek Maassarani
DC Alliance for Restorative Practices

When I first met him, Danny1 was a 10th grader at a local DC Public High School. Jet-black hair shot out from under his Nats cap, and his eyes intensely stared at the ground. He was escorted into the room by the Dean of Students after swinging a baseball bat at a senior in the second floor bathrooms. He was caught before anyone was seriously injured.

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April Newsletter

Happy April! Spring has sprung; the cherry blossoms are out; and we're excited to share our latest work with you. This month's newsletter has a quick summary of the new law limiting pre-K suspensions and the latest news clips on the school-to-prison pipeline.

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LGBTQ Youth & the School-to-Prison Pipeline

By Kaitlin Banner
Staff Attorney, Advancement Project

The school-to-prison pipeline – made up of disciplinary policies and practices that push young people out of school and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems – disproportionately impacts students certain students. In particular, students of color, students with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students (LGBTQ), and gender-non-conforming students (GNC) are bearing the brunt of discriminatory exclusionary school discipline.

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March Newsletter

Happy March! We're hoping this will be the spring for school discipline reform. This month's newsletter has a summary of a new report on equity in DC school discipline, an update on legislation that would limit suspensions of pre-K students, information on new special education, and the latest news clips on the school-to-prison pipeline.

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Hearings Are Hopping - Basic Due Process and DCPS School Exclusion

By Joseph B. Tulman
Professor of Law, U.D.C. David A. Clarke School of Law
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In DC Schools, Mid-Year Student Pushout Holds Back Achievement

By Alex Peerman
Policy & Advocacy Associate, DC Lawyers for Youth

Changing schools in the middle of the academic year can be challenging for students, families, and their new teachers. Transfer students may have trouble adjusting, experience lower academic achievement, and ultimately be less likely to graduate. These are some of the reasons child advocates are fighting to reduce expulsion rates. In fact, DC public charter schools successfully reduced their expulsion rate by 25% from school year 2012-13 to 2013-14. However, looking only at expulsion rates ignores an important component of school pushout – voluntary withdrawal. Sometimes, when parents withdraw a child from his or her school, it is not truly voluntary, but the result of pressure from school administrators.

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Solutions not Suspensions in DC

By Stacey Eunnae
Staff Attorney, Advocates for Justice and Education, Inc.

Each year, thousands of the District of Columbia’s most vulnerable children are pushed out of schools and deprived of their right to an education. Advocates for Justice and Education, Inc. (AJE) pushes back against school pushout in DC every day by informing the public about the laws governing public education, empowering parents and youth to self-advocate, and providing direct services, primarily in the areas of special education and school discipline.  AJE helped form the Every Student Every Day Coalition as part of our ongoing effort to disrupt the school to prison pipeline in DC and protect students’ rights to an appropriate public education.

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Racial Bias and DC's School-to-Prison Pipeline

The "Every Student, Every Day" Coalition seeks to raise awareness about school engagement and school pushout in Washington, DC. This is the first in a series of blog posts that describes different aspects of the school-to-prison pipeline. Each post is written by a member of the Coalition, so the series showcases the different perspectives that our members bring to this issue. To learn more about the Coalition's mission and see the current members of the ESED Coalition's Steering Committee, visit http://www.dcly.org/every_student_every_day_coalition. 

By Kelly Shaw
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Just the Beginning: Limiting Suspension and Expulsion of Pre-K Students in the District of Columbia

Response of the Every Student, Every Day Coalition to the Pre-K Student Discipline Amendment Act of 2014.

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