Tell D.C. councilmembers to vote YES on the "Student Fair Access to School Act!"

TAKE ACTION NOW

On Tuesday, April 10, the D.C. Council will vote on the "Student Fair Access to School Act of 2017." This important bill addresses discrimination in our school disciplinary practices that exclude students from the classroom, interfere with their right to a quality education, and contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline.

The SFAFSA establishes parameters to ensure student safety and access to education by, among other things, placing limits on the use of suspensions and expulsions for behaviors that do not pose a safety or emotional distress concern and requiring schools to develop transparent and evidenced-based discipline policies.

The bill:

  • Protects students from harmful, ineffective punishments that do not address the disability, poverty, or trauma that may hinder their performance in school.

  • Protects students of color who face discriminatory policies and are suspended or disciplined more often than their white counterparts, often for the same behavior. (Black students are suspended at eight times the rate of their white peers and Latinx students are almost three times as likely to be suspended.)

  • Protects children with disabilities who are suspended more often for behavior directly caused by their disability.

  • Empowers educators to keep their classrooms safe and remove violent students that pose a real danger to others.

Read more about the legislation.

What do I do after I email? Attend the first vote on SFAFSA bill on Tuesday, April 10 at the Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Room 500.

Message Recipients:
Phil Mendelson, Chairman, DC Council
Brianne Nadeau, Ward 1 Councilmember
Jack Evans, Ward 2 Councilmember
Mary Cheh, Ward 3 Councilmember
Brandon Todd, Ward 4 Councilmember
Kenyon McDuffie, Ward 5 Councilmember
Charles Allen, Ward 6 Councilmember
Vincent Gray, Ward 7 Councilmember
Trayon White, Sr., Ward 8 Councilmember
Robert C. White, Jr, At-large Councilmember
Anita Bonds, At-large Councilmember
David Grosso, At-large Councilmember
Elissa Silverman, At-large Councilmember

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Your Message
Dear Councilmember,

As a D.C. resident, I write today asking that you pass and fund the "Student Fair Access to School Act of 2017." There is now an overwhelming body of research demonstrating that school exclusion is harmful to students by, among other things, making it more likely that students will be held back, drop out, and end up justice-system involved.

Nevertheless, our schools continue to rely on punishment and exclusion as the primary tools for dealing with struggling students rather than addressing the root causes that can lead students from poor, traumatized, and under-resourced communities to act out in school. Passage of the SFASA is needed to reverse this trend.

The SFASA, which pushes schools to adopt a public health approach to reducing disruptive behavior in school and improving school climate, appropriately balances the right of students to access a meaningful education and the discretion schools need to maintain a safe school environment. Additionally, the SFASA will help reverse the disproportionate impact that school exclusion currently has on black youth, homeless youth, youth in foster care, and youth with disabilities.

We cannot wait any longer to make these necessary changes. I am counting on you to vote YES to pass and fund the Student Fair Access to School Act. Thank you!

Sincerely,

[First Name] [Last Name]
[Your Address]

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