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NYCLU Urges Mayor to Declare Amnesty for Students Participating in March 14 Walkouts

de Blasio
NEW YORK − In a letter sent today, the New York Civil Liberties Union urged Mayor Bill de Blasio to ensure that New York City students who wish to participate in the March 14 protests against gun violence can do so without risk of disciplinary action from their schools or arrest by the NYPD. The letter outlines why districtwide amnesty is necessary to ensure that students are not treated differently for participating in the national day of action based on who they are, where they go to school, the number and orientation of school safety officers in their schools, and the predilections of principals and teachers. The NYCLU has heard from students seeking information about students’ rights and received requests to urge school officials not to punish students for participating in protests. 
“New York students are no strangers to protest and their civic engagement should be encouraged, not punished, especially when the issue so profoundly impacts their lives. Disciplining students for participating in these protests can have disastrous consequences, particularly for students of color,” said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. “In this moment of nationwide attention to school safety, we must remember that the imposition of “zero tolerance” suspension policies and the massive infusion of law enforcement tactics into our schools have created a school-to-prison pipeline that does the opposite of making students feel safe, respected and supported.”
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