Fix School Discipline Toolkit for Educators - Page 37

HIGHLIGHT: SAN FRANCISCO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT In 2009, after community-based organizations pushed for change, the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education adopted Resolution #96-23A1, “In Support of a Comprehensive School Climate, Restorative Justice and Alternatives to Suspensions and Expulsions” (hereinafter Restorative Practices Resolution”). This policy was passed primarily to address the increasing numbers of suspensions and expulsions and the disproportionate number of suspensions and expulsions issued to African American and Latino students. In order to implement Restorative Practices district-wide, SFUSD began implementation in November 2010. In 2013, Public Counsel and Coleman Advocates with community partners organized to bring about the 2014 adoption of the Safe and Supportive Schools Resolution, which includes meaningful integration and implementation of PBIS and RJ and eliminates “willful defiance” suspensions for all students. How did Coleman successfully advocate for the Restorative Practices Resolution to be passed by the San Francisco Unified School District? Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth (Coleman) is a grassroots community organization located in San Francisco. Coleman advocates to improve the lives and opportunities of children and youth by fighting for education equity, good jobs for low-income families, and affordable family housing. Coleman Advocates, Kevine Boggess, Civic Engagement Director: In 2008, we launched the A-G Campaign, which aimed to increase the number of low-income African American, Latino, and Pacific Islander youth who were graduating from high school with the requirements to enter four-year universities, and not just trade/vocational programs or community college technical certificate programs. During the campaign, there was an increasing concern that Black, Latino and Pacific Islander youth were being suspended the most. We were looking at the suspension/expulsion numbers because we were looking at graduation rates. It was almost an accident but we noticed that the same students who did not graduate were the same ones that were getting suspended. All of this data came from SFUSD. Coleman Advocates joined a working group to address the district’s discipline polices. SFUSD Board of Education members, Kim-Shree Maufus and Sandra Fewer, in collaboration with community partners drafted and proposed the Restorative Practices resolution. Coleman organized youth and parents to testify strongly in support of the resolution and met with other Board Members; it passed unanimously on October 13, 2009. In 2014, you partnered again to lead the campaign to pass the Safe and Supportive Schools Resolution; why was that necessary? We saw that the racial disparity in discipline was not decreasing and, as a result, the academic achievement gap was not closing. We were concerned that Restorative Practices had become an initiative that was not embedded into the structure for District-wide change, and the District had a number of other research based alternatives, such as Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports and Trauma Informed Practices, but nothing was integrated. We were also disturbed that students, primarily those of color, were being suspended for “willful defiance.” We know there are much better ways to help students with behavior and keep them in school. We wanted to ensure that the District had an open conversation about race and the fact that students of color were still suffering the most. We were also frustrated with how hard it was to get data and information about school removals and the impact on students. Commissioners Matt Haney and Sandra Lee Fewer worked with community partners through the Safe and Supportive Schools Resolution tackles all of these issues. Among other things, it requires the district to fully implement and integrate Restorative Practices and other strategies within three years, end 35