Wake County School Board Candidates Answer Questions about Discipline Disparities and Youth Engagement

This September, NC HEAT members attended a series of candidate forums for aspiring Wake County school board members and posed questions around discipline issues and youth voice and engagement in education policy issues.  These questions were also emailed to the candidates who had 10 days to respond. 

Four of the eight candidates went on record, answering the questions the youth posed.  

Their answers can be found on this pdf flier, which is a compilation of their responses

Sept 10, 2013: Wake School Board Candidate Forum in Cary, NC

Sept 10, 2013: Wake School Board Candidate Forum in Cary, NC

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NC HEAT Plans Second Annual March

flier smaller fileAs part of Dignity in School’s National Week of Action Against School Pushout, NC HEAT (Heroes Emerging Among Teens) and the Youth Organizing Institute are calling for a MARCH & SPEAK-OUT against the School-to-Prison pipeline.

This is the Second Annual march, led by NC HEAT members.

The march will start with a speak out at Washington Elementary in Raleigh (1000 Fayetteville St.) and proceed to Central Prison for a demonstration with music, drums and raised voices!

Bring friends, signs and noisemakers, and WEAR YOUR BACKPACKS! Show up to push back against school pushouts!

 

Big Plans for the National Week of Action!

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On September 21, members of YOI, NCHEAT and the Education Justice Alliance met to discuss our plans for the upcoming year.  In particular, we planned out the upcoming Week of Action, part of Dignity in School’s National Week of Action Against School Pushout. The Week of Action will take place from September 28 through October 5.  NCHEAT will start out the week by marching at NC Pride in Durham on September 28.  On October 1, there will be a press conference to announce YOI, NCHEAT and EJA’s campaign for a moratorium on out-of-state suspensions, taking place  immediately before a Wake County School Board meeting at which students and parents will speak out against the crisis of suspensions in Wake County.  On October 4, NCHEAT will lead Push Back Against Push Out, a youth-led march against school pushout and the prison-industrial-complex. YOI and NCHEAT members planned out costumes, speeches and chants in preparation.

Get excited!  More info on the Week of Action will be announced soon.

Youth Grill Wake School Board Candidates on Discipline Issues

Sept 10, 2013: Wake School Board Candidate Forum in Cary, NC

Sept 10, 2013: NC HEAT members line up to ask questions at Wake School Board Candidate Forum in Cary, NC

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.

School Board Candidate Forums

UPCOMING WAKE COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD FORUMS:
School is back in session that means the work of the Youth Organizing Institute and NC HEAT ramping up! The Wake County School Board elections are right around the corner and we are co-sponsoring a series of candidate forums with WakeUp Wake County, the League of Women Voters, and El Pueblo. It is critical that candidates respond to the needs of the youth and community they seek to serve. Please locate the candidate forum in your district and come ready to ask a question!

District 9 (Cary NC) 7:00PM-9:00PM — September 9th Covenant Christian Church
District 2 (Garner NC) 6:30PM-8:30PM  — September 12 Garner Performing Arts Center
D
istrict 7 (Raleigh NC) 6:30PM-8:30PM — September 19 St Francis of Assisi
D
istrict 1 (Raleigh NC) 6:30PM-8:30PM — September 26 Wake Chapel Church

NC HEAT wants YOU to emerge as a HERO!

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On Tuesday, September 2, NC HEAT (North Carolina Heroes Emerging Among Teens) invites passionate, powerful high school youth in the Triangle Area to attend their back-to-school orientation meeting. NC HEAT is a united multicultural group of youth from different aspects of life seeking a common purpose. We organize and advocate for civil rights and justice in our community for ourselves and for future generations. On Tuesday, we will discuss the history and legacy of NC HEAT, the work we have done in the past to improve our schools and communities, the work that we can do together in the future, and the current political landscape in the area as it pertains to education and the lives of youth. 
 
The meeting will be held at DH Hill Library on NC State University’s campus fro 5pm to 6:30pm, we’ll have snacks and transportation can be provided if needed.  Contact ladylettuce95[at]gmail[dot]com if you need a ride.
 
Come out and join a community of passionate and engaged students! We are the ones we’ve been waiting for!

YOI Students Graduate

Graduation picture

On August 16, the Youth Organizing Institute gathered to celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of this year’s participants.  Graduates chatted and shared delicious food provided by community caterer, Eva Panjwani.  We shared stories with movement elders and family members in the historic WW Finlator Hall at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church.

After a report-back from our NC to FL Youth Solidarity delegation to support the Dream Defenders, youth shared projects and performances they had worked on independently in small groups. Family and community members offered snaps and applause as youth performed poems, presentations, and art pieces on issues in the school system, intersections of oppression, the evolution of sexism and feminism, and how they can solve issues in their own communities. As this year’s YOI graduates transition into the school year, we are excited to support them in the amazing work they’ll embark on in their own schools and communities!