For months now, you’ve worked alongside us to pass meaningful legislation that will be a serious blow to the school-to-prison pipeline.
And now we’re almost there.
Right now, a Conference Committee of six legislators is meeting to reconcile two versions of the omnibus criminal justice reform bill. The version that passed the Senate (S.2200) included the necessary provisions we support from H.328/S.876, An Act decriminalizing non-violent and verbal student misconduct.
These provisions include:
- decriminalizing non-violent misconduct in schools by eliminating the crime of disturbing school assembly; and
- requiring 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
- outlining data collection methods and responsibilities.
We need these important provisions to be included in the final bill.
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. And as of right now, there is no check on this practice or accountability.
Representative Aaron Vega is sending a joint letter with Senator Patricia Jehlen to the Conference Committee in support of at-risk students.
Please call or email your legislators NOW and ask them to sign on to the Vega/Jehlen letter!
These are common-sense reforms that would prevent unnecessary arrests and ensure school resource officers are trained in child development, de-escalation techniques, and implicit bias. With your help, this will be a major step in keeping kids in class and out of the school-to-prison pipeline.
The DEADLINE for having representatives and senators to sign on in support is TODAY, January 9th at 5 p.m.
Click here to find your legislators’ contact information and call TODAY!
You can find the text of the letter on our website here. Thank you for your continued support.
Want to stay informed on the latest issues Massachusetts Appleseed is working on?
Sign up for future action alerts.
Leave a ReplyWant to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!