Suspension Stories: A New Resource to Address the School to Prison Pipeline
February 21, 2011 Leave a Comment
Suspension Stories is a youth-led participatory action research project that incorporates surveys, storytelling, and art to address the issue of harsh school disciplinary policies and their connection to pushing students out into the prison pipeline.
The Rogers Park Young Women's Action Team (YWAT) partnered with Project NIA to collect stories about students' experiences of being suspended and/or expelled from school. Over the past few years, some of YWAT's members have complained about the harsh discipline policies that exist at their schools. Members are concerned about youth in their community and how they are being "pushed out" of school because of the zero tolerance policies that many schools still implement. They believe that there is a need for youth voice to "talk back" to the educational system and to show how these policies are actually harming children.
Suspension Stories was coordinated by YWAT Leadership Core member and Project NIA advisory board member Lillian Matanmi with key assistance from YWAT Core member Chelsea Whitis. In addition, this project could not have been completed without the help of countless other youth and adult allies. We thank each and every one of them.
The young women of YWAT dearly hope that others who are organizing against school pushout and the school to prison pipeline will find value in the results of their hard work.
Please take a few minutes to visit Suspension Stories at www.suspensionstories.com