Community Forum Press Release

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September 30, 2014

In collaboration with the Dignity in Schools campaign, 5th Annual National Week of Action to stop school push out, Racial Justice Now! will be hosting  a community forum on school discipline and the role of Student Resource Officers. The forum will be held at the Wesley Community Center on Thursday October 9th, 2014 at 6:00pm. Racial Justice Now! has invited the Director and Assistant Director of Safety and Security for Dayton Public Schools.

The Dayton Public School system is encountering new changes as it, only a year previous, formalized a Department of Safety and Security. In the process of transition, DPS hired two retired Police officers to lead the department and manage the Student Resource Officers that are placed in schools throughout the district. Director Jamie L. Bullens is a retired detective from the Dayton Police Department, and Associate Director Richard E. Wright II is a retired Sergeant from the Trotwood Police Department.

This forum will inform the community of the direction in which the department intends to go, what responsibility and authority the student resource officers have, and it will also give the community an inside look into what is happening in Dayton public schools from a safety and security perspective. Questions will be asked by both RJN facilitators and by community participants.

“As a parent of a DPS student who is a young Black male, I am extremely interested in hearing what role SRO’s play in the schools.  I am interested in how often the police have contact with the school. It’s a scary combination when police have contact with young Black males. I don’t want my son to be the next John Crawford, or Mike Brown.”

Maria Holt, Racial Justice NOW Co-Founder & Dayton Public Schools parent

The school discipline forum will be held on Thursday, October 9th at The Wesley Community Center, 3730 Delphos Avenue, Dayton, Ohio 45417 from 6:00 -7:30pm. This forum is a part of the Dignity in Schools Campaign to stop the school to prison pipeline. On a yearly basis the Dignity in Schools Campaign engages in a National Week of Action. This year from October 4th-11th the campaign will be in 40 cities throughout the country.

Racial Justice NOW! is committed to ensuring that all students in the Dayton Public School system are able to reach their fullest potential by receiving a quality education within a human rights framework. The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) challenges the systemic problem of push out in our nation’s schools and advocates for the human right of every child to a quality education and to be treated with dignity. The DSC unites parents, youth, educators and advocates in a campaign to promote local and national alternatives to a culture of zero-tolerance, punishment and removal.

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