2014-2021 Press Releases
Help Interrupt School to Prison Pipeline with Black Lives Matter at School Week Action
United Methodist Women today called on school districts across the country to observe the second annual Black Lives Matter at School Week, Feb. 4 through Feb. 8. School districts can observe the week by committing to dialogue and observing the principles of Black Lives Matter. In supporting the week, United Methodist Women is joining the chorus of educators, parents, students, and community activists in calling for an end to zero-tolerance policies, exclusionary disciplinary policies and practices, and investments in cops rather than school counselors. The leaders are also asking school districts to invest in Black educators and Black history and ethnic studies curriculums.
“Every child has value and people of faith must continually assert the dignity and value of all of God’s children,” said Harriett Olson, chief executive officer, United Methodist Women. “In fact, we cannot adhere to our faith without addressing systemic injustice that pushes certain children, namely children of color, out of the classroom and into the criminal justice system. To follow the tenants of our faith and live as Jesus taught us, we must link arm and arm and support the youth of color all across our country who are leading the struggle for racial justice and educational equity.”
Black Lives Matter at School is a national coalition of educators organizing for racial justice in education. The educators are joining parents, student leaders, and community activists to break the stronghold of the school-to-prison pipeline which disproportionately impacts Black, Native American, Latino, LGBTQ, and students with disabilities, funneling them from the classroom to the criminal justice system.
“While Black Lives Matter at School Week presents a timely opportunity to address the ways our education system can exclude and criminalize Black students, transforming our schools to places where all can learn and where all belong is a long-term commitment,” said Emily Jones, an executive for racial justice. “United Methodist Women is committed to interrupting the school-to-prison pipeline, regardless of how long it takes to do so.”
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