Columbus, OH- On Wednesday, July 15, at 11:00am, The Ohio Student Association (OSA) and the University District Freedom School (UDFS) will lead a march of Ohio students, parents, and allies from the Ohio Statehouse to the Ohio Department of Education , where they will share a list of demands regarding the abolition of zero-tolerance and school push out policies. Together, these groups are driving efforts to create a fundamental shift in the relationship between our students and public schools’ disciplinary procedures.
The Columbus action is part of OSA’s continued efforts to demand justice for young Ohioans and force law enforcement and policymakers to address the structural and systematic racial injustices faced by students of color in low-income communities.
We are taking this fight to the Department of Education office because we cannot allow state laws and policies to embolden the school-to-prison pipeline.
In May of last year, almost 100 community leaders and allies marched rallied downtown to support two pieces of state legislation calling for the abolition of zero-tolerance policies in Ohio public schools. Currently, Ohio law requires each school to develop a zero tolerance policy for "violent, disruptive, or inappropriate behavior, including excessive truancy." In the 131st General Assembly, Senator Tavares (15th District) has introduced S.B 34, which would call for the elimination of zero tolerance policies and instead encourage the use of alternative discipline strategies, such as prevention of restorative justice practices
Ohio schools issued more than 210,000 out of school suspensions in the 2012-13 school year, and more than 3,400 expulsions. The majority of the suspensions (54%) were for “disobedient or disruptive” (non-violent) behavior. Black students and students with disabilities are more likely to be subjected to suspensions and expulsions, with Black students making up 16% of student enrollment, but 52% of suspensions and 53% of expulsions and students with disabilities making up 15% of enrollment, but 27.5% of suspensions.
25 S Front St
Columbus, OH 43215
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