Action Alert

BREAKING: On Friday, March 23rd, the Conference Committee working on the Omnibus Criminal Justice Reform bill reported out the final compromise language and the Senate and House are expected to pass the final bill today! The school discipline reform that we advocated for was included in Sections 27, 159, and 160. We believe these provisions will advance our goal to decrease the number of kids being arrested and removed from school for minor misbehavior.

We are so grateful for your advocacy!

But we’re not done yet! Now, more than ever, is the time to raise our voices and be heard.

Once the legislature passes the bill, the next step is that the bill will advance to the Governor’s desk and he will have 10 days to sign or veto it. It will only become law if the Governor signs it! Governor Baker has not yet stated his position on the compromise bill. Please join us by contacting Governor Baker and urging him to sign S.2371, the omnibus criminal justice reform legislation, which includes sections 27, 159, and 160 related to student arrests and School Resource Officers (SROs).

As a reminder, these provisions would:

  1. Decriminalize non-violent misconduct in schools; and
  2. require that MOUs between schools and police departments include certain provisions clarifying that SROs should not be involved in routine disciplinary actions for non-violent school infractions; and
  3. outline data collection methods and responsibilities.

If this legislation becomes law, these provisions will keep students from undergoing the trauma of arrest for simply acting out, and ensure that school resource officers (SROs) are trained in child development, de-escalation techniques, and implicit bias. For more information about the bills the final language originated from, check out this fact sheet on our website.

Will you help us ensure these important reforms become Massachusetts law?

Research shows that arrests of students for non-violent behavior disproportionately affect students of color and students with disabilities, and the impact can be devastating. A student who is arrested in school is three times more likely to drop out, and is subsequently more likely to go to prison, earn less income, and rely more on public benefits.

Please call Governor Baker, and urge him to sign S.2371 into law!

Click here to find Governor Baker’s contact information.

No child deserves to feel unsafe when they walk into their school. We need to urge Governor Baker to pass these common sense reforms that will prevent unnecessary arrests and be an important step in keeping kids in class and out of the school-to-prison pipeline.

Thank you for your continued support.

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