Dayton, Oh. (April 10, 2017) On Tuesday April 11th, 2017 Racial Justice NOW! (RJN!) will be hosting a press conference in front of Valerie Elementary School regarding the handcuffing of elementary school students for discipline and/or behavior issues. The press conference will start at 11:30 am and last approximately 45 minutes. RJN! will be informing the public on the current Dayton Public Schools policy on handcuffing. Also, RJN! is demanding the end to handcuffing elementary school students.
On February 21st 2017, RJN! Organizing Director, Ty Alston, made the DPS school board aware of a report that he received from a parent involving an elementary school student being handcuffed for disruptive behavior. He asked that the board investigate this matter and asked them to stop elementary school children from being handcuffed. Mr. Alston followed up at the March DPS school board business meeting after no response and still hasn’t received a response. As of today, the board has not discussed this issue publicly.
RJN! will be at the review session board meeting later on Tuesday evening to ask that the school board implement a pause in the handcuffing of elementary school students until they can find time to thoroughly discuss the issue.
“Based upon the level of trauma that handcuffing young children causes, I find it shameful not only that we have to have this discussion, but that the board has been given extended time to review it and have not. I can’t believe that this board would completely disregard the requests of its constituents and the school district by not even discussing the issue. Stakeholders that I have talked to simply do not agree with this policy. This has nothing to do with the Superintendent or the SROs. This is about policy and that lies in the hands of our seven elected school board officials. We have given ample time and so now we must raise our voices up in defense of the children in our community,” says Interim Director/ Youth Advocate, H.A. Jabar
RJN! are members of the national coalition Dignity in Schools Campaign to stop the school to prison pipeline and end school push out. RJN! are members of the Journey for Justice Alliance to win community-driven alternatives to the privatization of and dismantling of public school systems. RJN! is also members of the #WeChoose Campaign to support community driven school improvement instead of failed school privatization schemes.
Racial Justice NOW! is committed to dismantling structural and institutional racism in all areas of people activity. Our primary focus is on the institution of education and lifting up the voices of dis-empowered Black parents and children. We are dedicated to stopping the school to prison pipeline and focus specifically on holding institutions accountable to equitable distribution of resources and services to Black people in Dayton and around the State of Ohio.