On Monday, September 9, seven NC HEAT members attended the Cary Candidate forum located at Covenant Christian church, to ask perspective school board members the questions about the epidemic of suspensions and racial disparities in school discipline practices. NC HEAT members used data-driven research to generate thought-provoking questions to encourage candidates to discuss their vision for how to address the school-to-prison pipeline in Wake County.
NC HEAT members highlighted that data shows that youth of color and disabled youth are suspended and pushed out of public schools at a rates alarmingly higher than their white, non-special needs counterparts. Perspective candidates Nancy Caggia and Bill Fetcher seemed unable or unprepared to adequately address these policies issues. Both candidates stated that they would not support a Moratorium on Out-of-School Suspensions. After hearing the research and questions presented by NC HEAT members, NC HEAT hopes that the candidates will consider working more closely with students and communities to solve our school discipline crisis and create policies that treat every student, regardless of race, gender, gender presentation, ability, or sexual orientation with dignity.