There are many way you can take action to end the School to Prison Pipeline in New York City.
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Other Ways to Get Involved
- Schedule a meeting with your City Council member and tell them about the over-policing of New York City schools. You can ask them to hold a hearing on school safety, support funding for alternative school safety programs or become a co-sponsor of the Student Safety Act.
- Host a workshop or training session. Invite a NYCLU organizer to your school, youth group, religious institution or community organization to do a workshop on the School to Prison Pipeline or a Know Your Rights with Police in Schools training. Contact us at 212-607-3388 or email@example.com.
- Post the films to your website, MySpace, Facebook or other social networking pages. Go to www.youtube.com and search for the title of the film (Our Schools: Safe or Not?, Schoolhouse to Jailhouse, or School: Where Safety Is Nothing But A ?) Copy the code from the “Embed” box to the right of or below the film. Paste this code into your page.
- Write to elected officials about the School to Prison Pipeline and the over-policing of schools. You should describe the problem, share a personal experience and suggest an action for the official to take, such as holding a hearing on school safety, funding a peer-mediation program or observing a roving metal detector operation.
- Become a member of the NYCLU by visiting www.nyclu.org/take_action/join and join our email list for activists at ga1.org/nyclu/join.html!
- Do a presentation on the School to Prison Pipeline in your school, youth group, religious institution or community center. Information on the issue is available in this toolkit, on the NYCLU’s website and from the Links and Resources page. Try screening the film for your class. Distribute NYCLU materials like the School to Prison Pipeline Fact Sheet and Know Your Rights with Police in School palm card. Use some of the sample activities from the toolkit to start the discussion.
- Test your organizing skills and distribute fliers on the School to Prison Pipeline and the Student Safety Act. Practice approaching people and engaging them in conversation on the problem. You can even ask them to sign the petition.
- Teach a lesson on the School to Prison Pipeline. The films make great discussion starters and you can also use the sample activities and discussion questions. Be sure to check out the Links and Resources page, which provides links to lesson plans. Some possible classroom projects for your students include:
Teach a lesson on a related issue like racial disparities in education or incarceration rates, the prison industrial complex, racial profiling or poverty. Check out the Teaching Resources on the Links and Resources page.
- Write and distribute a survey on school safety in your school.
- Write a creative writing or spoken word piece about their experiences with school safety or the School to Prison Pipeline.
- Write a persuasive essay on the issue from the perspective of a party represented in the film, such as a student, SSA, principal or prison company executive.
- Create an artistic depiction of a safe school.
- Create an oral history by recording youth statements about school safety.
- Write and rehearse a skit or play on school safety and the School to Prison Pipeline. Present it at an assembly or as guerilla theatre in the hallways or lunchroom.
- Write letters to elected officials on the School to Prison Pipeline and the over-policing of schools. Students should describe the problem, share a personal experience and suggest the official take a specific action, such as holding hearings on schoolsafety, funding a peer-mediation program or observing a roving metal detector visit.
- Write letters to the editor of a local or national paper. Letters to the editor should always address an issue recently discussed in the paper, but should provide a different perspective or alternative solution. Students should make their major points in the first paragraph and keep the letters brief. They should follow any submission guidelines regarding length and required contact information.
- Produce a short documentary on the School to Prison Pipeline.
- Screen the films at a meeting or on a lobby visit.
- Incorporate the films into an educational workshop.
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