On April 1 NC HEAT spoke to students at UNC about the struggles youth face in High Schools. The School to Prison Pipeline was the main issues raised in coordination with the dignity in Schools day of action “You cant create peace with a piece.” High School students also spoke about how college students could be good allies in the struggle. NC HEAT is launching a campaign for a moratorium on out of schools suspensions and is getting support from communities in the triangle.
Youth from around the country developed a statement: An excerpt is below “In communities of color throughout the nation, students now experience a vicious school-to-jail track. Despite the fact that school shootings have overwhelmingly happened in white schools, youth of color have paid the price. We have been handcuffed and humiliated in front of other students and staff for “offenses” as small as being late to school; detained in police interrogation rooms at our school; expelled from school for carrying nail clippers, markers or baseball caps; and arrested – even in elementary schools – for fights that used to be solved in the principal’s office. With our backpacks searched and our lockers and cars tossed, at the end of a billy club or the butt of a gun, knees down-hands up, or face down on cold concrete or burning asphalt – we have experienced the true face of “public safety.” These policies haven’t protected us, helped us to graduate or taught us anything about preventing violence. They have taught us to fear a badge, to hate school and to give up on our education. We understand too well that guns in anyone’s hands are not the solution. You can’t build peace with a piece.”