Edison High students will protest in front of police station Wednesday

Below is a press release I received about a protest planned Wednesday at 4 p.m. in front of the Miami-Dade School Police Department, 6100 NW 2nd Avenue in Miami. On Wednesday March 5th, 4:00pm Power U youth and youth from Edison Senior High School will join together in front of the Miam



Below is a press release I received about a protest planned Wednesday at 4 p.m. in front of the Miami-Dade School Police Department, 6100 NW 2nd Avenue in Miami.

On Wednesday March 5th, 4:00pmPower U youth and youth from Edison Senior

High School will join together in front of the Miami Dade School Police

Department to protest the unfair arrests that happened Friday February 29th

at Miami Edison, and to demand a completed feasibility study for Restorative

Justice that was promised in January. This study and indecisive

administration stand in the way of implementing Restorative Justice in

schools.

The youth of Power U Center have been demanding the Miami Dade Schools to

implement a program of Restorative Justice in the schools, starting with

Booker T. Washington Senior High as a pilot program. They have been upset

with the treatment of students in school as realized last week with the

situation at Edison. The school Police promised to have a feasibility study

for restorative justice done by January’s School Board meeting.

At February’s meeting School Police Chief Gerald Darling assured us that the

report was done and we would receive it shortly. It has now been 3 weeks

and there is no evidence that a report has even been started. Power U youth

member Travae Brown says “We are tired of waiting for this report and being

disrespected by the School Police. The violence that happened at Miami

Edison shows exactly why we need Restorative Justice in our schools instead

of police who don’t respect young people, especially young Black people.”

It is essential that Restorative Justice be implemented in the schools in

order to decrease schools’ dependence on arrests and suspensions as a way of

solving issues. Restorative Justice is a form of problem and issue solving

that provides everyone involved a voice, engaging the community in order to

address the root of the problem through dialogue.

Punishment, especially in the form of suspension and arrest has been proven

to be ineffective and actually harmful, with high rates of recidivism among

youthful offenders, and increased rates of dropouts amongst students.

Restorative Justice has been utilized in school districts such as Chicago

and Minnesota with amazing results, at times reducing suspensions from

30-50%.

The arrests and beatings that occurred at Miami Edison on Friday were a

tragic and extreme example of a systemic problem that is occurring everyday

in Miami Public Schools, and that is exactly what the students were

protesting. Black students are particularly impacted by harsh discipline

policies and the heavy dependence on police to deal with issues in the

schools, as they are arrested at extremely disproportionate rates. Edison

Senior Chrisford Green states: “We didn’t organize this protest because of

just one incident. We just got fed up. That kind of stuff happens all the

time here.”

Power U Center and Miami Edison Youth will be joined by students from the

University of Miami and by CopWatch as well as other allies.

When: Wednesday, March 5th, 2008, 4 pmWhere: 6100 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL 33127

More STUDENTS Join together to RALLY for demands after Edison uprising.

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