November 16, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Zakiya Sankara-Jabar: 937.825.1791,

z.sankara-jabar@rjnohio.org

 

Dayton area Parents travel to Columbus for “Legislative Education Day” to push for systemic changes in educational opportunities for Black students.

Dayton, OH—On Tuesday, Racial Justice NOW! members will travel to Columbus to meet with legislators to advocate for a repeal in Ohio’s zero tolerance law and ask that Ohio confront racial disparities in school discipline and achievement.  RJN! will be meeting with Dayton area legislators State Senator Peggy Lehner, State Senator, Chris Widner, and State Representative Jeff Rezabeck among others to discuss our concerns.

“The current law in Ohio requires schools to have “zero-tolerance” which disproportionately impact Black students.  We are asking that school discipline policy in Ohio be changed to include alternatives to zero-tolerance such restorative practices. Furthermore, Ohio must confront racial disparities and the impact on Black students.”—Iris Blanchard, RJN! Lead Parent Advocate

Unfortunately, Ohio is among the bottom ten states in the entire nation in graduating Black boy’s from high school according to a report released this year by the Schott Foundation for Public Education.  We know that the disparate impact of school discipline policies like zero-tolerance serve as a mechanism in pushing Black students out of school altogether.

We are collaborating with other organizations from around the State to lift our voices to end the school-to-prison pipeline cutting off the prison industrial complex. Our goal is to alert our legislatures that changes must be made to ensure that ALL children in Ohio have access to opportunities for success.

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“Our mission is to advance parent leadership that ensures that all children are rightfully educated regardless of where they live. Our work is especially focused on the public, charter, and vocational schools in the State of Ohio.  We work from a political framework that is focused on systemic social change through racial justice and human rights fulfillment in public education.  We want to impact how school discipline practices are being utilized as pushout mechanisms into the criminal justice system, leading to racial disparate impact and criminalization of African American families. We also want to impact how and what our children are taught, while working to keep the PUBLIC in public education.”

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