Call to Action
Against the School-to-Prison Pipeline
African-American kids get suspended and expelled at a much higher rate than white kids. We know that “restorative practice” and other positive discipline methods reduce suspensions and expulsions — and KEEP kids in school, instead of funneling them into juvenile court and eventually prison.
The Metro Schools administration is willing to put some money into changing this — BUT we have to get the Mayor and Metro Council to include this money in the city budget.
What you can do!
1. Email the Metro Council (Sample email below)
Email ALL the Council Members at once by using firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject line is very important, since some Council Members don’t read the message, but just count the emails. [You can just “copy and paste” the sample below into your email and edit it as you like.]
SUBJECT: Break the School-to-Prison Pipeline with Social & Emotional Learning
Dear Council Member,
African-Americans make up 40% of MNPS students, but are 75% of those suspended and expelled. Almost HALF of African-American boys with disabilities are suspended or expelled. This is the beginning of the “school-to-prison pipeline.” In the state of Tennessee, we spend an average of $122,000 annually to incarcerate a juvenile versus $8,726 to educate that child.
“Restorative practice” and other methods of Social Emotional Learning can KEEP kids in school, instead of funneling them into juvenile court and eventually prison. When entire schools are trained in these positive discipline methods, school culture changes radically, with fewer discipline problems, more learning, and reduced racial disparity in discipline.
NOAH has worked for three years to have these positive practices implemented in Metro Schools. The MNPS administration has included $2 million in its budget to address Social Emotional Learning, classroom management, and Trauma Informed Care. We need help from Metro Council to get this budget section funded.
Please support funding for training in restorative practice and Social Emotional Learning. The “school-to-prison pipeline” is real — but it can be BROKEN, with your help!
2. Contact YOUR Metro Council Member personally.
Find your Council Member and email address at http://bit.ly/nashvillecouncil. A personal email, directly to your Council Member, makes a difference! A phone call or a meeting makes an even BIGGER difference! A phone list is at http://bit.ly/councilphone.
- In 2016-2017, African-American students represented 75% of expulsions and suspensions although they represent just 40% of the MNPS population. Latino and American Indian students are disproportionately suspended as well.
- The average cost to incarcerate a juvenile in Tennessee is $122,000 vs $8,726 to educate them.
- Metro Nashville Public Schools’ proposal for the expansion of their Social and Emotional Learning programs includes training for over 3000 teachers and staff.
- NOAH has worked for three years to have these positive practices implemented in Metro Schools. The MNPS administration has included $2 million in its 2018-2019 budget for this.
- Please support our efforts to break the school-to-prison pipeline. Can we count on your support?
3. Get your congregation or group engaged!
Make copies of a PDF version of this “Call to Action” that is HERE. Ask your members to take action with us! Ask individual members directly: “Can YOU help break this school-to-prison pipeline?”