TAKE ACTION

“Staggeringly intimate...the significance of this film in the current era cannot be denied." – The Georgetown Voice

Watching a film is just the first step! Get involved and help break the school-to-prison pipeline in your community. Thanks to our partners at Film Sprout for helping compile these steps.

 

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Check out the Dignity in Schools Campaign and Resource Guide advocating for “Counselors not Cops” to support efforts that bring staff with trauma-informed practices into our classrooms.

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As a student, be ready to advocate for yourself and your classmates, if needed, by knowing your rights when dealing with School Resource Officers or other members of law enforcement. Start with the ACLU’s Know Your Rights document and then conduct some additional research of your own about the rights in your specific state, as these can vary. You can also read your school’s student handbook and learn about the specifics of their discipline policy. Think about the ways it does or doesn’t reinforce the school-to-prison pipeline. Discuss any thoughts or concerns with your friends, parent(s), guardian(s) or school staff.

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Teachers! Take the ACLU and DoSomething Safe Classrooms Pledge which supports a positive school climate where everyone can feel physically, emotionally, and socially safe. And encourage your colleagues to do the same!

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Review the Department of Education's Resource Guide for Improving School Climate and Discipline which outlines action steps for improving school climate, setting clear and fair discipline policies and encouraging the continuous improvement of these policies. Also seek out professional development opportunities that will help you to continue to hone the skills needed to interact with students from different racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds. For example, the American Federation of Teachers has suggested implicit biastraining for school staff as part of their recommendations for bolstering positive school disciplinary efforts.

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Learn more about what you can do to End Zero Tolerance policies in our nation’s schools. Successful campaigns in districts throughout the country can serve as a guideline for your city or town. Then attend a public school board meeting or Parent-Teacher Association meeting where you can comment on the decisions being made, ask questions of your own, and call attention to the things that are important to you like ending zero-tolerance policies and overhauling exclusionary discipline.