Gwinnett SToPP in collaboration with the End Mass Incarceration Georgia Network held an amazing event this past Saturday, “From Lockers to Lockdown: Educate Students, Stop Arrests.”
Ending mass incarceration starts with dismantling the school to prison pipeline. Advocacy against mass incarceration isn’t being championed by Gwinnett SToPP alone. Rev. Warnock and T.I. have joined forces to address the issue in Atlanta as well as Civil Rights Attorney and Activist Gerald Griggs.
At the event, Gwinnett SToPP took a closer look at the underlying factors that create the intersection of race, special education and the School to Prison Pipeline, as well as identify intentional and effective actions that you can take to help stop school push-out and school based arrests.
School districts are not being held accountable enough for our children internally and externally. There’s more going on in our schools than what we’re being told and what we see.
A lot of our Black boys don’t feel safe in school. We assume that it’s because of peers, gang violence, social media bullying, but these aren’t the only reasons. About two weeks ago I surveyed a group of my scholars about expectations from school.
“I expect from school to call me dumb, to treat me different, to look at me like I’m ugly, to have adults laugh at me about us being poor, my mama a thot, my daddy is in prison”. . all responses from my students based on their experiences in public schools.
“Adults need to understand and utilize social, emotional learning within themselves as we are teaching this to children!”
Gwinnett SToPP continues to advocates for better educational outcomes for children of colors and Black boys plagued by the school to prison pipeline. A lot of our Black boys are in special education departments. Many of them feel as if this is an early prison sentence. That’s why it’s important for school district and city leaders to invest in education. Our schools should not be unprepared to truly implement the work of SEL and Special Education.
This event is helping make effective change in Gwinnett County. If you are the parent, guardian or caretaker of a child who receives special education supporting events like this helps build awareness of our children’s needs. Gwinnett SToPP also encourages students who receive special education supports to attend and learn how to be their own best advocate.
Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.