Sustaining Police Free Schools Through Practice

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SUSTAINING POLICE-FREE SCHOOLS THROUGH PRACTICE A Toolkit for New York City School Communities


VOLUME 1: SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS September 2020

Girls for Gender Equity, Inc. 25 Chapel Street, Suite 1001 Brooklyn, NY 11201 www.ggenyc.org @GGENYC


TABLE OF CONTENTS PREFACE

4

ABOUT GGE

5

DEAR READER

7

JUST SO YOU KNOW…

9

SECTION 1 – WELCOME

11

1.1 INTRODUCTION

12

1.2 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

14

1.3 HISTORICAL CONTEXT

15

1.4 OUR VISION & THE ROAD AHEAD

24

SECTION 2 – ADMINISTRATION & DECISION-MAKING

36

2.1 ADMINISTRATOR’S INTRODUCTION

37

2.2 SCHOOL STAFFING

54

2.3 SCHOOL BUDGETING

69

2.4 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

78

2.5 GETTING SET

87

2.6 RAISING CONSCIOUSNESS 2.7 COMMITMENTS

103 119

SECTION 3 – ONWARD

122

ENDNOTES

123


PREFACE ABOUT GIRLS FOR GENDER EQUITY

5

DEAR READER

7

JUST SO YOU KNOW…

9

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PREFACE ABOUT GIRLS FOR GENDER EQUITY OUR MISSION Girls for Gender Equity (GGE) is an intergenerational organization committed to the physical, psychological, social and economic development of girls and gender expansive youth of color. Through direct service, policy, organizing, and culture change, GGE works to remove systemic barriers and create opportunities for girls and women to live self-determined lives.

OUR HERSTORY Responding to the needs of girls of color navigating life at the intersections of race, gender, immigration status, and class, social worker and activist Joanne N. Smith was inspired by a young person named Lilly in Coney Island who was in search of an afterschool basketball program for girls. Given the lack of resources and the inattention to the needs of girls of color at her school, Lilly said “Yeah right, not gonna happen. They don’t see me or hear me; why would they create anything for me?” After completing a community needs assessment, delivering a community petition to funders, and successfully applying for and receiving an Open Society Foundations Social Justice Fellowship, Smith founded Girls for Gender Equity in Sports (GGES) in September 2001. At the time, GGES leaned on the guarantees of Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendment as a guidepost for equitable access to health and wellness for Black girls in central Brooklyn. Then, in December 2001, an eight-year-old Black girl was sexually assaulted on her way to school in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood

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of Brooklyn. Students and parents marched to bring awareness to sexual violence against Black girls, spearheading GGES’ expansion from health and fitness programming to a non-profit organization dedicated to ending violence against girls of color. In 2003, GGES was renamed Girls for Gender Equity (GGE). GGE quickly grew to meet the needs of girls of color across New York City through workshops, community organizing, health and fitness programs, gender equity festivals, and a young women’s empowerment summer program. Since then, GGE’s programs and work has continued to center the needs of cisgender and transgender girls of color and gender nonconforming and nonbinary youth of color as our movements, our communities, and our political urgency have evolved.

OUR WORK TODAY Over the decades, GGE has remained faithful to our mission, and we have built deep relationships with young people through our programming: Sisters in Strength, the Young Women's Advisory Council, the Urban Leaders Academy (ULA), and a soon-to-launch a diversion program for girls and youth who are gendered as girls in the juvenile legal system in New York City. GGE spearheaded local campaign to center the needs of girls and non-binary youth in local government and created New York City’s Young Women’s Initiative (YWI) which has been recreated in eight cities across the United States. That robust youth organizing and programming shapes GGE’s current policy and organizing work to remove police from schools in New York, track incidents of girls of color being assaulted by school police across the country, move state-level legislation, and inform federal policy around the pushout of girls of color from school. At our core, we remain committed

to

girls

of

color,

gender-expansive

youth,

and

unapologetically center Black girls in our narrative shifting work.

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we


PREFACE DEAR READER This toolkit has been designed with a few goals in mind, one being to offer a theoretical grounding and political education around policing broadly and within the context of schools. Now is the time for school communities to implement what has been a growing national vision of removing police from public school systems. It is our hope that this toolkit provides you with context and language to actively participate in that discourse and shift the dialogue from one of ‘bad apples’ vs. ‘caring cops’ to one that addresses the systemic racism our young people are subject to on a daily basis due to the presence of police in their schools. Another goal is to help foster hope and creativity in a time of unprecedented uncertainty. New York City is in the midst of what can feel like insurmountable challenges. The ongoing impact of COVID-19 has forced us to shift the ways in which we lead, teach and learn. The country’s uprisings in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and what feels like an endless number of Black people at the hands of the police has forced us to strengthen our resolve and grow our demand that the New York City Department of Education (DOE) divest from the New York Police Department (NYPD) – public school dollars spent on surveilling, harassing and policing young people in schools. In the year 2019, Black students represented 26% of all students in NYC public schools, and yet were targeted for 54% of all police interventions in school – representing 56% of all students arrested in school, and 59% of all students handcuffed.

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DEAR READER CONT.

Numbers such as these are clear indicators that Black students disproportionately suffer the negative consequences of police presence in their classrooms and hallways. The schools we envision lead with the belief that students, teachers, administrators and families are capable of preventing, navigating, and resolving conflict independent of the state and carceral systems. When schools are equipped with the funding and support they need to implement restorative practices, adequately staff counselors, social workers and voluntary mental health and peer workers, provide relevant, culturally responsive professional development and support young people in building necessary skills for mediation and restorative communication, schools can heal themselves from within. That power is sacred and rightfully belongs in the hands of the members of the school community. It is time for schools to reclaim that power. This toolkit is not a piece-by-piece assembly manual, but rather a compilation of tips, templates and resources to assist you in creatively reimagining and building strategies to sustain a Police-Free School. With nationwide momentum propelling us forward, now is the time to dream our biggest and most extravagant dreams of freedom and liberation along with all our people and our schools. To administrators, we hope this toolkit preview assists you in your role as a gatekeeper to use this unique time in history and it's unusual set of circumstances to intentionally and boldly cultivate the schools we want. In Solidarity,

Nicole Hamilton Director of Community Partnerships

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PREFACE JUST SO YOU KNOW… There may never be a one-size-fits-all, ready-made solution available for every conflict that might arise in school communities. In light of this, the responsibility is with each and all of us to challenge ourselves and our schools to build, nurture, grow, and sustain new ways of being in community with one another – including ways of being that have up until now, been labeled “impossible.” Prison abolitionist and scholar Ruth Wilson Gilmore describes abolition as “about presence, not absence,” to which we understand the work as not just the end of policing, but also the presence of vital systems of support. In pursuit of this, we recognize that not only must resources be taken away from policing, but there must also be a substantial investment in the practices that sustain learning and healing. We are open to and eagerly anticipating the possibility of transforming the current educational system and very practices of schooling itself, even into something beautifully unrecognizable. We also want to challenge ourselves and one another to say a firm and resolute “no '' to that which we do not want, in order to achieve what we do want. That also means we must be strong enough in our resolve to turn down funding and resources if they are attached to or somehow replicate the very policies, practices and systems that we seek to dismantle. We must be bold and brave. As we imagine and create together, we also must purposefully reject the notion of creating so-called “alternatives.” We are not looking for an alternative to policing because we fundamentally oppose all that is policing, and do not wish to be limited by that frame.

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JUST DO YOU KNOW CONT.

Instead, we would rather design something new which derives from a genesis of equity, liberation, community and healing and carefully consider the process and actions we must take to transform our schools and our communities in the immediate, the short-term, and for our future. By embarking upon this challenge and progressing down the path toward Police-Free Schools, we will be actively building, reflecting, learning, and rebuilding the educational communities we dream of. It is through this process that we reclaim the power to define safety for ourselves and to create healthy, restorative environments where members of the community are accountable to each other. Reclaiming power in this way can help us to shift the dynamic so that we are no longer stuck in perpetual negotiations with a system that we do not even want to be a part of. It is up to all of us to first believe that another way is possible so that we may bring our communities together, and take action.

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SECTION 1 WELCOME 1.1

INTRODUCTION

12

1.2

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

14

1.3

HISTORICAL CONTEXT

15

1.4

OUR VISION & THE ROAD AHEAD

24

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SECTION 1.1 INTRODUCTION Public schools have been a tool for reinforcing economic and racial hierarchy and reproducing existing inequalities in this country since their inception.1 Those in helping professions, like school personnel or social workers, are also often caught up in carceral logics – the ways our minds and actions are shaped by the idea and practice of punishment and imprisonment – contributing to the web of surveillance (the close watch and observation of people from above), labeling, and control of young people. Policing and schooling share peculiar histories. Post Brown v. Board, for example, when boycotts and civil rights organizing for school integration intensified here in New York City, organizing for educational equity became criminalized under a heightening police state.2 The very presence of police in schools today reinforces the idea that schools are places where students are taught that obedience and conformity are tactics to survive. Despite the deeply entrenched and often state-sanctioned practices of punitive discipline, exclusion, and neglect within public education, educators all over the country have found powerful, subversive ways to ensure that the students in their care are nurtured, safe, and offered tools to carve out their own futures. There have always been teachers willing to put their bodies in between a police officer’s handcuffs and a student. We hope that this toolkit can help grow that network of abolitionist educators and help build school communities that center trust and care, rather than control and subjugation.

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SECTION 1.1 CONT.

This project is a product of the wisdom that Girls for Gender Equity has acquired through over a decade of providing school-based coaching, close to two decades of providing a safe, healing, and affirming space for students in our programs, and developing policy and advocacy which have called on government actors to create the conditions for the “school girls deserve.” To follow, we offer our theoretical framework, some historical context, and tools for reflection, group discussion, and some support for answering frequently asked questions that might come up when championing Police-Free Schools. When we demand “Police-Free Schools” we are demanding the dismantling of a very complicated web woven to connect schooling and criminalization. This is a feat we must undertake all together. The rest of this toolkit is organized by topic area, with each category followed by a set of tools. We are offering a variety of ways to learn and plug into this toolkit through methods like reading, reflecting, talking, building relationships, and engaging in self-guided research. Again, when we call for “Police-Free,” we are not only referring to the absence of police, but also speaking into existence all that we can build if we grab a hold of the possibility. In shaping our demands for this moment of tremendous loss and re-traumatization, we are centering a call

for

culturally

responsive,

healing-centered,

social-emotional

learning rooted in restorative practices, positive youth development and with a focus on health and wellness. That is the new web of support we must weave.

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SECTION 1.2 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK GOAL Ground the sections ahead in radical Black feminist theory “There have always been Black women activists—some known, like Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Frances E. W. Harper, Ida B. Wells Barnett, and Mary Church Terrell, and thousands upon thousands unknown—who have had a shared awareness of how their sexual identity combined with their racial identity to make their whole life situation and the focus of their political struggles unique. Contemporary Black feminism is the outgrowth of countless generations of personal sacrifice, militancy, and work by our mothers and sisters.” - The Combahee River Collective Statement (1977)

In 2000, INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence put forward a liberatory feminist vision of a world free from all forms of violence, including the violence of policing, incarceration, surveillance, punishment, and statesanctioned death. This requires us to find ways of being in community that do not reproduce the very violence we say we want to get rid of. Beth Richie, a founding member of INCITE!, offers us the words Feminist Abolition Politics, or a feminist political strategy that embraces the possibility of prison abolition. Angela Davis has spoken of “abolition feminism” that helps us challenge that which is “normal.” This language and these contributions have helped us to understand the work of the state to set a ceiling on the imagination or dissuade us from contesting that which is presented as normal – like the permanency of policing. When we call on one another to demand Police-Free Schools and imagine schools without policing, we are calling for a better, attainable world.

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SECTION 1.3 HISTORICAL CONTEXT GOALS Review a brief history of school-based policing in New York City Root the work ahead in the complexities of history

GROUNDING The number of police in New York City’s public schools has grown by nearly 700% over the past 50 years, while citywide enrollment stayed at 1.1 million students.3 Many attribute the national beginnings of school/police partnerships to the 1950s in Flint Michigan. For New York City, we locate the phenomenon of police involvement in public education in the wake of late-nineteenth century social and educational reforms, which we consider inseparable from racial capitalism and the construction of the American identity. While this is not an exhaustive overview, in an attempt to make sense of our current moment, we begin with a brief history of both schooling and policing in New York City, first identifying the two as distinct institutions. As a precursor to this historical grounding, we also must reckon with a legacy of anti-Black and anti-Indigenous violence, settler colonialism and the control of people and land within borders. Settler colonialism uses modes of control, like schooling and policing, to constrict and limit and then define what we are naming here as “New York City.” European occupation began with Dutch settlement in 1608, when the Lenape, Indigenous peoples, were forcibly removed from their homelands.

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SECTION 1.3 CONT.

This disruption of Indigenous relationships to land represents a profound violence, not a temporary violence nor a single moment in history, but a violence that reasserts itself with each day and an inextricable part of the structures of schooling and policing.4 We must also grapple with understanding, theorizing, and addressing genocide and the afterlife of slavery – to evoke the language crafted Saidiya Hartman – and it's everlasting impact on Black people in America. We ask for ongoing and new conversations, and new action. “If slavery persists as an issue in the political life of Black America, it is not because of an antiquarian obsession with bygone days or the burden of a too-long memory, but because Black lives are still imperiled and devalued by a racial calculus and a political arithmetic that were entrenched centuries ago. This is the afterlife of slavery–skewed life chances, limited access to health and education, premature death, incarceration, and impoverishment.” - Saidiya V. Hartman, Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route (2006)

We write with this framework in mind so that we can move forward invoking a critical consciousness that translates into action. Because school-based policing, schooling, and policing are all part and parcel of the larger landscapes of settler colonialism, white supremacy and racial capitalism, we should be vehemently working with others to change the current conditions – inside and outside of our schools.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF SCHOOLING IN NEW YORK CITY New York City’s first nonreligious free public school was opened in 1787 by the Manumission Society as a school for Black students. New York State began to lay the groundwork for its common school system in 1795, nudging localities into setting up free public schools. As historian of education Diane Ravitch writes in her comprehensive history of New York City public schools, that nudge did not influence a growing and divided

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SECTION 1.3 CONT.

New York City to adopt common schools in the same way as other, more homogenous parts of New York State did. In 1801, a free school was opened to serve white girls and was run by a group of Quaker women called the Female Association. Shifting attitudes around the importance of literacy led to the Free School Society in 1805, changing its name to the Public School Society in 1826. By the late 1820s the Public School Society pursued greater public funding in order to become common schools, as a matter of “common right” – common right meaning something to be afforded to all people recognized as citizens. In 1832 they merged with the Manumission Society (though remaining separate with segregated schools first phasing out in the City beginning in 1873). The New York City Board of Education was formed in 1842, and in 1853, the Public School Society merged with the Board of Education.5 A reform movement was born in New York in the 1880s, with new ideas and philosophies about learning and child development taking root. The compulsory education law (the first law to require children to attend school) had been adopted in 1874, but was rarely enforced as young people were a source of labor. In 1896 the Mayor signed a school reform bill to centralize the school system of New York City, ending local control. Then in 1898 the five boroughs of New York consolidated, creating the new borough school system and the first citywide Superintendent,6 what we now call the Chancellor. This brings us to the turn of the century.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF POLICING IN NEW YORK CITY We do not want to disappear or sanitize the relationship between warfare and policing, or even dismiss those who describe contemporary policing as an apparatus of warfare.

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SECTION 1.3 CONT.

According to the NYPD’s own history, in 1651, the first “professional,” though voluntary, police department – known as the Rattlewatch – was created in Dutch era New Amsterdam and remained voluntary (unpaid) up until 1658.7 Under British occupation from 1664 to 1783, constables were charged with policing. Simone Browne, in Dark Matters, describes a largescale surveillance apparatus to regulate the mobility and autonomy of Black life in colonial New York City, for one, naming a 1713 lantern law that required the carrying of a lantern at night and legalized discretionary violence.8 During the Revolutionary War, the British appointed a military governor, then with the departure of the British Army from New York City in 1782, policing became the work of a night watch of moonlighting individuals, and a small full-time force of constables and marshals.9 After Robert Peel, later known as the “Father of Modern Policing,” established the London Metropolitan Police Force in 1829, New York City Mayor Cornelius Lawrence advocated for a similar system. The Common Council replied, “The nature of our institutions are [sic] such that more reliance may be placed upon the people for aid, in case of any emergency, than in despotic governments.”10 In 1844, the legislature passed an act abolishing the night watch and marshals (not the constables) and creating a unified full-time day-and-night police force.11 The Metropolitan Police District was subsequently established by the Metropolitan Police Act in 1845.12 After the Astor Place Riots of 1849, a deadly conflict rooted in class and ethno-religious division, the police began military-style instruction.13 During the American Civil War, the secretary of war designated the Metropolitan Police as provost marshals. This assignment sparked the Draft Riots of 1863, when Irish immigrants resisted police attempts to enforce the federal conscription act and require men to serve in the War.

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SECTION 1.3 CONT.

We see charges of police brutality during strikes and labor protests in the 1870s and 1890s. This included police violence to suppress workers striking to force the implementation of the eight-hour work-day law passed by the state legislature in 1867.14 A public campaign against police violence culminated in the Lexow investigation of 1894, a state committee investigating police corruption and misconduct, and arguably the first major investigation of police violence in American history.15 In 1898, with the consolidation of the boroughs, the department brought together 18 smaller police agencies. In 1900, Governor Roosevelt pushed through a bill creating a single police commissioner.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF SCHOOL-BASED POLICING IN NEW YORK CITY In Progressive Era New York – a period spanning 1890 to 1920 and marked by urbanization, industrialization, and immigration – reformers created new specialized courts, programs, and detention centers to control young people. These efforts were the antecedents to school-police partnerships that are largely attributed to the 1950s and 1960s.16 The increased attention to child regulation through compulsory education laws, specialized courts, and correctional institutes increased the role of local and state government in young people's lives. In 1902, New York City’s new Children’s Court was opened. The New York State Training School for Girls was established in 1904 as a separate place of confinement for “incorrigible” girls who had been previously housed with boys on Randall’s Island. We see early partnerships in 1912, with police officers making guest lectures in local schools. Then in 1914, the NYPD founded the Junior Police Corps, which would later be renamed the Police Athletic League.17

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SECTION 1.3 CONT.

In 1930, the Crime Prevention Bureau was created and by 1935, the agency’s name was changed to the Juvenile Aid Bureau.18 Reports from 1939 document that the Juvenile Aid Bureau trained educators in delinquency prevention, visiting City schools to train students, and distributing teachers’ payroll directly from police precincts. .19 The bureau acted as a policing agency tied to New York’s expanding juvenile justice system.20 The postwar period was associated with the rise in youth culture, meaning that adolescents and young adults were beginning to be recognized as a group with its own norms, values, behaviors and potential economic power.21 Reports from 1948 indicate the occasional stationing of uniformed police officers at some schools, but not as a fixed post. The 1950s also witnessed the rise in student activism, with civil rights protests being met with violent police resistance, therefore increasing the role of policing in youth control. In 1957, at the direction of a Kings County Judge, a Brooklyn grand jury was empaneled as the “Kings County Grand Jury Investigating Lawlessness in Brooklyn Public Schools.”22 One of their early recommendations called for the stationing of police officers in schools or to establish a special school police force. At that time, the decision to station police at schools was left up to individual principals, and as reported in 1958, at least 42 principals made that decision.23 In 1959, the Police-School Liaison Program began in Flint, Michigan, placing a single police officer in Bryant Junior High, expanding to all area junior and senior high schools by 1965.24 It was in 1968 that the Board of Education hired a force of 700 school security aides.25 According to reporting, this was an escalated political response to members of the Black Panther Party confronting a school principal in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, over the principal’s mistreatment of students.26

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SECTION 1.3 CONT.

In response to the sudden deployment of school policing, organized youth like the New York High School Student Union (NYHSSU) and the African-American Students Association united under a platform that included “No Cops in Schools,” staging demonstrations across the City – including outside the building where school police underwent training. In one NYHSSU leaflet, students explained, “Their solution is to send more cops into the schools,” when “the real problem is our racist, oppressive miseducation.”27 The 1960s hosted numerous uprisings in New York City: Harlem in 1964, the Long Hot Summer of 1967, and the Holy Week Uprising in 1968. That year also brought the organizing for community control in Ocean HillBrownsville, Brooklyn and a citywide teachers strike that shut down the school system for 36 days. Over the years to follow, New York City was home to ongoing unrest, including the Stonewall Uprising, the Attica Uprising, the Campaign to Free Angela Davis, the state’s adoption of the Rockefeller Drug Laws, the worst fiscal crisis in the City’s history for the time, “the Bronx is Burning” and the citywide blackout of 1977 that spurred the election of Mayor Koch under a “law and order” platform. By 1978 the new Koch mayoral administration considered the possibility of bringing the ballooning number of school security personnel under the charge of the Police Department.28 This policy change was contested for ten years but eventually made real under the Giuliani administration in 1998. Today, we contend with the proposed reform to shift policing yet again, ignoring thirty years of failed school-based policing under the Board of Education’s supervision.

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SECTION 1.3 CONT.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS The school is a focal point for social change – then and now. At the turn of the twentieth century, educational reformers looked to public schools to maintain an ordered society.29 Later, school reformers implemented school-police partnerships in reaction to mid-twentieth century social revolution and liberation movements and in an effort to repress dissent and shape students’ political values. “Adolescence” and “delinquency” are constructed concepts that have shifted over time also as youth culture has shifted. By increasing police presence, public schools reaffirmed themselves as agents of the state, enacting its interests to socialize youth. When public schools became community sites of civil rights organizing, school/police partnerships emerged to coordinate the state’s backlash to an increasingly radical society. There is hope in knowing that today’s political struggle for Police-Free Schools is deeply connected to a beautiful legacy of resistance and liberatory efforts. Our planning, conversations, and work take place within a community that is deeply connected, even outside of space and time. We are far from alone. In this moment as well, we are a part of an ongoing historical record. We struggle now for the world we collectively want and need, but also to enable generations to continue this work.

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TOOL 1.3 GUIDED REFLECTION SELF REFLECTION QUESTIONS How can you share your understanding of this brief history and history’s ongoing ramifications with others? Where might you want to grow your learning? How do you understand the purpose of these systems?

GROUP REFLECTION QUESTIONS What are the ways in which you can see anti-Black and antiIndigenous practice at play in schools? How can your school community reimagine safety and security, in light of the decades-old demands of young people to uproot “racist oppressive miseducation?” In what ways is your school community complicit in perpetuating a culture of youth control?

COMPOSE & SHARE YOUR HEADLINE Prompt – The year is 2050 and young people are learning about social justice movements. They find a cover story highlighting the transformative work of your school. What is the headline? What is included in the story? What have you accomplished? What value has come out of your work? What are people saying? For larger groups, this activity could become a gallery, highlighting everyone’s headlines.

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SECTION 1.4 OUR VISION & THE ROAD AHEAD In 2017, Girls for Gender Equity launched a campaign entitled School Girls Deserve after young people conducted a Participatory Action Research (PAR) project, surveying 120 of their peers. The very first finding to be uplifted was that “girls and TGNC youth of color experience violence from the oppressive policies and practices in their schools.” Young people reported that the presence of police in their schools did not make them feel safe, but instead, the metal detectors, constant surveillance, and negative interactions with police in their schools made them feel targeted and criminalized – the opposite of safe. When asked what they wanted, young people said they just wanted to feel safe, have access to the resources they needed, be seen, heard, respected and cared for. They felt that having police in their schools created a barrier to these things. Fast forward to after midnight on July 1, 2020. The New York City Council voted to approve the next city budget with a promise to the public that the School Safety Division, managed by the NYPD since 1998, would shift to being under the control of the Department of Education. In the days that followed we learned that the change was not reflected in the budget after all. The money had not actually shifted, and the NYPD was still in charge. Instead, according to the Mayor, the process would take two more years. At the same time and right now, young people all across the country are mobilizing and organizing in their schools and districts under the rallying call, “Police-Free Schools.”

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SECTION 1.4 CONT.

While New York City’s decision-makers have attempted to thwart our momentum and put transformative change on pause, change can and is indeed happening now, especially at the hyper-local level: in schools. We are now releasing the administrator’s section of the toolkit, as Volume 1, in order to respond quickly to this political moment. In the coming months GGE will be releasing additional sections, which will speak directly to educators, students, families and community members. Our hope is also to provide tools to assist you all in putting pressure on the larger systems to win Police-Free Schools for all schools. Our vision is clear and the road ahead is paved with opportunities for us all to dig deep, push back and demand transformative change. We demand Police-Free Schools.

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TOOL 1.4 A FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Below we offer responses to some frequently asked questions about the Police-Free Schools demand. These answers are meant to be a starting point to help you think things through and talk with your school community, and not meant to be exhaustive. We encourage you to come up with replies that best work for you, and practice communicating these ideas with different audiences.

WHAT DOES “POLICE-FREE SCHOOLS” MEAN? The demand and slogan “Police-Free Schools” describes learning environments that are free from policing, surveillance, exclusion, punishment and all of the other cultures, habits, and tools of youth control. The quest for Police-Free Schools also recognizes

that the

decision making power of police positions them as “gatekeepers” to confinement and incarceration for young people, and facilitators of school pushout, forcing students out of school before graduation. What’s more, Police-Free Schools means freedom from racism, classism, ableism, ageism, sexism and all forms of oppression that policing cultures perpetuate. Schools should and can have creative and restorative ways of being in community with one another that center liberation and learning. Meeting peoples’ needs and addressing equity issues, like the uneven distribution of public funding and resources should be the priority and focus of schools, not finding more ways to police, surveil and control them.

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TOOL 1.4 A CONT.

The vision for Police-Free Schools seeks to end youth criminalization and dismantle the system and relationships that made police in schools possible in the first place. In doing that work, we can transform schools into the best possible iteration of what they can be.

WHAT DO POLICE-FREE SCHOOLS LOOK LIKE? There are already schools where people rely on one another instead of outsourcing conflict resolution to policing and the legal system. Advocates for Police-Free Schools are part of a long history of antiviolence work and restorative justice, and we believe that in order to keep people safe we must change the conditions in which harm and violence happen. Police-free schools are built on the foundational principles of Tier 1 Restorative Practice. In action, these practices look like people building healthy relationships with one another, learning and understanding why conflict happens, and knowing how to offer safe ways to address issues and meet people's needs. It also means peoples’ real material needs are being responded to, addressed and met, and resourcing schools and communities is what is required to meet those needs.

HOW WILL WE STAY SAFE? We understand policing as a form of ever-present, state-sanctioned violence, and therefore see the shrinking of policing as a safety strategy in and of itself. In part, the “shrinking of policing” means that we shift responsibility away from police and toward community-based models of safety, support, and prevention. The people who respond to conflict and crisis in our community should be the people who are best equipped to deal with those crises – students, educators, families – not those who the state has given the authority to inflict physical and deadly force and are emboldened by the power of the carceral and legal systems to enact extreme measures of surveillance and punishment.

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TOOL 1.4 A CONT.

We need conversations about defining and building safety to happen regularly at the school community level, focused on assessing the strengths and assets of its members, building right relationships, and meeting people's real and most fundamental needs. In doing this, we will increase community accountability and make space for those who really make up the fabric of a community to look out for one another.

BUT WHAT ABOUT VIOLENCE? There is no consensus on what “violence” means, especially as the state is largely exempt from mainstream conversations of violence. However, we can also conceptualize violence as the result of people being unable to meet their basic needs through other means. As we consider the role police play in our schools, we assert that they do not prevent violence. Instead, they stop and harass Black and Brown young people in their own schools, and escalate conflict by utilizing their powers to arrest and forcibly push young people through the legal system. Police weaponize the penal law to respond to student behaviors, not to end or protect people from violence – what they do is reactionary. Policing and carceral systems have had decades and a tremendous amount of public funding to attempt to end violence. Instead, they have ensured the continuation of violence through surveillance, harassment, policing tactics, and the abuses inherent to imprisonment. Surely it is time to shift our thinking and practices.

WHY DEFUND? WHY NOT FUND THE NYPD AND ALSO SCHOOLS? First, the City budget is a zero-sum game. Meaning, every dollar spent on policing is a dollar not spent on public education. Advocates often point out that the school system funds 5,500 school police but only 2,800 guidance counselors. Second, it’s not just that there are too many police, or that they don’t make school safe, but that they are actively harmful.

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TOOL 1.4 A CONT.

A robustly funded restorative justice initiative alone has not stopped police from harassing and harming young people in their schools. We must also reject the false choice presented to us that schools either get police or schools get nothing. If the school system shifted its line of questioning and stopped asking us “why do you want police in your schools?,” and instead asked “what do you want in your schools?,” they would learn the truth. If they listened to our answers and acted upon them, our system would undoubtedly be much different.

BUT I LIKE MY SCHOOL POLICE? The explanations we hear to justify the asking of this question often come up in spite of the job description of school police, not because of it. For example, one person may associate someone in a policing role with things not tied to policing, like being friendly – regardless of whether that is everyone's experience. Many people get stuck focusing on defending individual people or trying to separate people they know from the oppressive agency they are employed by. This thinking blocks efforts to address the core of the issue. Do you like the person because of or in spite of their legal authority to use physical and deadly force to enforce the law? This work is not about parsing out good cops from bad cops, it is about reckoning with a system that inflicts violence on young people despite countless reforms. We want better for our communities than just more jobs that exist to harass, surveil, hurt, arrest, and imprison young people. We believe in richly-staffed schools, where people have ready access to support – and by support we do not mean police. We demand better. It is our collective responsibility to disband oppressive systems and create supportive ones that heal and liberate. We all must work together to achieve a future free from state violence.

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TOOL 1.4 A CONT.

WHAT ABOUT JOBS? There are so many people across New York City who would like access to care-based careers in their neighborhood schools. Why doesn’t a paid training program exist for school-based counseling, mediation, and peacekeeper roles in the same way the NYPD has their police academy (a building that cost the public a billion dollars to build) to train the agents who are stationed in our schools? With what seems like unencumbered access to limitless funding, the NYPD has built up one of the most, if not the

most,

accessible

pathways

to

school-based

work.

That

is

unacceptable. What would it mean to have a paid, jobs-training program like the NYPD has for school police, but for restorative school staff? With the redistribution of the money spent on school policing, we can create and staff care-based positions in schools at the scale we currently staff policing. In reallocating those funds to create these positions, we also create a new system which includes a pathway to school-based careers not preempted on violence or disproportionate power over young people, but rooted in restorative practices and healing-centered community care.

WHAT ABOUT REFORMS LIKE COMMUNITY POLICING? Demanding reforms like community policing centers police in what we ask for, instead of asking for what we actually want. This also ignores the reality that supportive, care-based school positions

are not being

funded or made available to schools at the same scale as police are. School policing has undergone many reforms over many decades and all have failed to address the fundamental issue – policing is incompatible with positive youth development and the types of environments needed to support young people.

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TOOL 1.4 A CONT.

The NYPD works incredibly hard to maintain its legitimacy in the face of public scrutiny and protest. For school policing, that has meant the careful branding of the division as something other than police (like as a substitute for counselors in a school system with only 2,800 counselors for 1.1 million students). We know through first hand communication with young people themselves that is not how those who are most impacted by school policing perceive them. Reforms have been tried already. The duration and type of school police training has been reformed. Police have been trained in restorative practices. Police have been trained by the DOE to work with students with disabilities. Reforms that submit to police discretion have been tried, like through the creation of a “warning card” where agents can choose whether or not to ticket young people to appear before school staff instead of pursuing a criminal court summons. Rebranding reforms have been tried, like for instance, through adapting some “School Safety Agent” roles to “School Coordination Agent” roles, focused on growing the connection between schools and precincts. During the time of pandemic, the NYPD has deployed school police to communities to perform “social distancing outreach” and distribute hand sanitizer. None of these reforms attempted to chip away at the oppressive, punishing power and presence of school police. We do not seek reforms that, time after time, fail to reduce the size and scope of police power. We seek to transform our schools into something completely new, different and positively Police-Free.

BUT SCHOOL SAFETY AGENTS AREN’T POLICE? School Safety Agents (SSAs) are part of a school-based police force and have been employed by the NYPD since 1998. SSAs are certified New York City Special Patrolmen, and granted New York State peace officer authority – meaning, among other authorities, the power to use physical force and deadly physical force.

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TOOL 1.4 A CONT.

SSAs work within the School Safety Division of the NYPD and collaborate with other divisions of the NYPD to criminalize students – like by calling patrol officers to schools, recommending young people for the NYPD’s gang database, or sharing information about young people’s activity and movement with detectives or other NYPD commands. SSAs wear NYPD-issued uniforms and have the legal authority to make arrests and conduct warrantless searches. They are not accountable to the Department of Education or young people. SSAs answer directly to the NYPD.

WHEN DID THE NYPD TAKE CONTROL? Mayor Rudy Giuliani transferred School Safety from the Board of Education to the NYPD in 1998. The Chancellor at the time objected to the plan, later resigning. The President of the Union representing School Safety Officers released a statement saying “Schools are not jails/keep cops afar,” and “Cops do not belong in the schools.”30 The transfer process was contentious among the public, as the Mayor packed a review commission with his friends and employees.31 The next Chancellor agreed on the condition that the size of the force stay the same – a promise quickly broken by the Mayor.

ISN’T DOE CONTROL OF SCHOOL POLICE A GOOD IDEA? Young people are fighting across the country to disband school policing – including disbanding school district-run policing. Look to Los Angeles – they have the largest school-district run police department in the country and they are marching in the streets calling for it to be dismantled. Policing in some other outfit or with some other name is still policing. To shift school policing back to the DOE now, in this political moment, will only legitimize it as a viable part of the school system.

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TOOL 1.4 A CONT.

We cannot afford to fortify this system of school policing by shifting the control internally to the DOE. If this is the case, we will have to work twice as hard to tear it down. In the words of the self-described “Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,” Audre Lorde, “For the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change.” Shifting control of school policing from the NYPD to the DOE is simply a relocation of the police to another house. We must do our best to remain focused on dismantling the house.

BUT ISN’T THIS IMPOSSIBLE? We are witnessing a disaster where policing spending grows, educational spending declines, and young people are pushed out of school. Due to a misappropriation of funds to the NYPD, schools are being forced to turn to police instead of counselors and restorative justice coordinators because those positions aren’t invested in and they do not exist at the same scale policing does. Part of the work of Police-Free Schools is ending the policing of the imagination. Over the last several months communities across the country have successfully compelled their school districts to break ties with local police departments. Believing we can win and sustain PoliceFree schools is just the first thing. We also know that access to housing, food, and opportunity support strong school communities. We propose redirecting the dollars spent on policing to these things in order to rebuild and reinvent our schools.

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TOOL 1.4 B 12 QUICK REASONS FOR POLICE-FREE SCHOOLS 1.

School Police Compromise Access to Education by imposing a pathway from classrooms to police cars, precincts, and courts – violently separating young people from their schools

2. School Police Make Students Less Safe by escalating everyday issues and responding with the tools of policing – handcuffs, arrests, searches, and uses of force and violence 3. School Police Target Black, Latinx, and Indigenous Students, who in 2019, represented 67% of the New York City student population but 91% of all school-based arrests 4. School Police Evade Accountability because school police misconduct complaints go to the NYPD, and school police answer to the NYPD, not to the principals or the school community where they’re deployed 5. School Police Gobble up Public Funds year after year, with the cost of school policing reaching $451 million in NYC this coming school year – and tens of millions more spent on safety and security infrastructure, like student surveillance technologies 6. School Police Uphold Unjust Laws, solely functioning as a tool of control and repression. Police in schools most often enforce “disorderly conduct,” a catchall category of behavior used at officer’s discretion to restrict student autonomy in their schools

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TOOL 1.4 B CONT.

7. School Police Threaten Public Health, by using policing to respond to students in mental health or emotional crisis with force and coerced hospitalization or by police responses to student drug or substance use in lieu of harm reduction 8. School Policing Continues to Expand, pushing the boundaries of what school policing actually is. By rebranding police as counselors, spending millions

on

retraining

in

so-called

“restorative

practices”

and

Collaborative Problem Solving, and implementing marketing strategies like “Team Up Tuesdays” – school police are encroaching into more areas of young people’s lives where they don’t belong 9. School Police Presence is Traumatizing and Re-Traumatizing, as it attempts to normalize routine stops and student surveillance, and it carries with it a threat of imminent violence as State Law affords school police & peace officers the legal authority to use physical and deadly force 10. School Police Operate At the Expense of Meeting Students’ Needs, resources that should go to changing the material conditions of students’ lives get funneled into a hyper-funded NYPD, increasing policing at the expense of real solutions 11. School Police are Police, not Counselors and relying on school police to be kind does not reduce their power to harm anyone – we must reduce their power and presence, not rely on their benevolence or personal discretion to ignore the duties outlined in their job descriptions 12. School Policing is a Tool to Suppress Resistance that uses surveillance and violence to enforce the status quo, and push back on racial justice and liberation movements, like those demanding full access to education and life chances

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SECTION 2 ADMINISTRATION & DECISION-MAKING 2.1

ADMINISTRATOR’S INTRODUCTION

37

2.2

SCHOOL BUDGETING

54

2.3

SCHOOL STAFFING

69

2.4

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

78

2.5

GETTING SET

87

2.6

RAISING CONSCIOUSNESS

2.7

COMMITMENTS

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103 119


SECTION 2.1 ADMINISTRATOR’S INTRODUCTION GOALS To assess the restorative nature of mindsets of school staff To reflect critically on the degree of the restorative nature of the process of decision-making

GROUNDING As a school administrator, you sit in a unique seat with a particular vantage point. Yours is a position holding power that may be leveraged or shared at your discretion. As a primary gatekeeper, you often hold the keys and drive forward the vision for your school. In the words of educational theorist and philosopher Paulo Freire in Pedagogy of the Oppressed, “There's no such thing as neutral education. Education either functions as an instrument to bring about conformity or freedom.” As an educator and administrator you are presented with opportunities to choose between conforming to an unsafe, inequitable and oppressive educational system or daring to decide something different: liberation. Knowing that the daily choices you make will impact the members of your community at every level and the quality of the learning environment you strive to create, we hope this toolkit assists you in choosing wisely.

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SECTION 2.1 CONT.

Here are some questions to consider around decision making to help guide you in your shift towards sustaining a Police-Free School: What are your thoughts about power, authority and safety as a school leader? Do you regularly examine how they might influence your decisions? When you think of safety do you consider a holistic approach which includes physical safety, emotional safety and psychological safety? Do you often make decisions about safety on your own in isolation or do you regularly engage faculty, staff and young people in an equitable process of decision making? Do you communicate regularly and solicit feedback about safety from the people within your school community? What is the system, process or protocol for obtaining feedback and disseminating information about issues? Is the process easily accessible to everyone and widely practiced by all? How does your school handbook and code of conduct reflect your values and beliefs about safety and uplift restorative practices? What are your routine practices for building a safe, equitable and restorative community? Is your entire school community regularly engaging in restorative circles? How do you communicate with families about what it means to be a Police-Free School and are they regularly engaged in the development of a schoolwide restorative practice? What will be your greatest challenge in sustaining this work? What culture/climate shifts might you experience through becoming a Police-Free School?

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TOOL 2.1 RESTORATIVE DECISION-MAKING WORKSHOP PURPOSE To foster a culture of collective decision-making for your staff and school community

TIME NEEDED 90 minutes

MATERIALS NEEDED Writing utensils or stickers, 10 per person Restorative Mindset Survey for each attendee 7 Core Assumptions, posted

ATTENDEES Administrative Team Can be applied to any group of people that make decisions together

INTRODUCTIONS Name, Pronouns, Role Fist of 5 – Each participant rates how their day is going on a scale of zero to five, zero representing the worst day ever and five the best! What is one decision you’ve made that has changed the course of your life?

REVIEW GROUP AGREEMENTS Read aloud Check for understanding Get confirmation of agreement

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TOOL 2.1 CONT.

UNDERSTANDING GROUP AGREEMENTS Engaging staff is less about delivering content and information and more about co-creating space and learning opportunities. The space you create is the container that will hold all of the potential possibilities for the creation of knowledge and shared learning. Group agreements are an important fundamental tool to help you co-create space. Group agreements are a living, breathing set of shared understandings that help all members of the group to be accountable to creating and maintaining a positive environment. They can be used by all members of the group to establish the way the group will operate together and to remind us how to refocus if we should get off track. Below is a sample set of group agreements that we use in our programs at GGE with adults and young people. Review group agreements together and check for understanding – highlighting specifically the importance of using I statements and “Pump Up/Pump Up” as an alternative to “Step Up/Step Back,” as a commitment to inclusivity of ability and strength-based perspective.

SAMPLE GROUP AGREEMENTS Speak your truth from your own experience; use “I” statements One Mic/Share the Air Pump Up (listening), Pump Up (sharing) Take Risks and Ask Questions Respect Each Other Assume Good Intentions Respect the Talking Piece Expect & Accept Lack of Closure

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TOOL 2.1 A RESTORATIVE MINDSET SURVEY Restorative practices can be applied to almost anything we do in relationship

with

others.

Let’s

take

a

moment

to

assess

the

restorativeness of our mindsets. This is the foundation from which we work in community with others. Read each of the following prompts and shade-in or cover the response that is most applicable to you. Each prompt describes one of the key concepts necessary for maintaining a restorative mindset. Each response describes the way you think and move through the world.

1. I recognize that a community is responsible for folks within it and folks in the community are responsible for the whole. I look primarily to a community to solve its own challenges and support community members in healing and repairing the harm they may have caused.

Almost Always

Often

Sometimes

Rarely

Almost Never

2. I value collaboration and collective voice, recognizing that everyone’s voice is important and that we must create structures to intentionally connect all community members especially during conflict.

Almost Always

Often

Sometimes

Rarely

Almost Never

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TOOL 2.1 A CONT.

3. I center relationships, recognizing that they are necessary in making progress on large community issues and personal challenges.

Almost Always

Often

Sometimes

Rarely

Almost Never

4. I acknowledge multiple truths and that everyone has a unique and valid perspective to be shared, honored, and heard.

Almost Always

Often

Sometimes

Rarely

Almost Never

5. I believe that respectful conversation is possible in any given situation. While certain topics may cause tension or vulnerability, a Restorative Justice mindset believes that with the right space and values a respectful dialogue can take place.

Almost Always

Often

Sometimes

Rarely

Almost Never

6. I show genuine vulnerability and willingness to engage in honest conversations and encourage others to do the same.

Almost Always

Often

Sometimes

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Rarely

Almost Never


TOOL 2.1 A CONT.

7. I hold myself accountable for my actions and encourage others to do the same. This means that people should be able to acknowledge their role in any harm and seek to repair any harm that they have caused.

Almost Always

Often

Sometimes

Rarely

Almost Never

8. I acknowledge that healing is a process and that it must take place after harm happens to people and/or communities. Without an appropriate healing process, additional harm may be caused.

Almost Always

Often

Sometimes

Rarely

Almost Never

9. I ask how conflicts and harm can be restored after they have taken place. The goal of restoration is to rebuild relationships, restore the communities and community members after harm, and work with those who caused the harm to prevent it in the future.

Almost Always

Often

Sometimes

Rarely

Almost Never

10. I believe that effective solutions are always possible and work towards discovering them together.

Almost Always

Often

Sometimes

Rarely

Almost Never

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TOOL 2.1 A CONT.

CHARACTERISTICS OF A RESTORATIVE MINDSET Trusting relationships are the foundation of community All community members are responsible to and for each other Multiple perspectives are welcomed and all voices are equally important Willingness to relinquish and share power Community restoration cannot happen without healing Those who have caused harm should be held accountable to actively participate in efforts to repair that harm Conflict is resolved through collective problem solving and restorative dialogue focused on addressing the root cause and the needs of those involved Respectfully requests vulnerability When harm is caused, seeks to provide support and healing opportunities to all who are affected Believes that ownership of all community processes should be collective

SETTING THE SPACE Uplift 7 Core Assumptions as a Restorative Mindset that is important to embody when engaging in the decision making process.

POSE THE QUESTIONS Which assumption do you feel is most important to uphold when making decisions? Which assumption do you feel is most challenging to uphold when making decisions?

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The assumptions are derived from and build on Indigenous teachings and other wisdom traditions. Excerpted from Heart of Hope and Circle Forward, by Carolyn Boyes-Watson and Kay Pranis. © Living Justice Press.

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TOOL 2.1 B PRACTICAL APPLICATION ACTIVITY As with most work environments, a school operates within a hierarchical structure. While the principal is ultimately responsible for the decisions being made in the building, each member of the team has responsibilities that require them to make decisions all of the time. The following activity has been adapted from the Facilitative Leadership for Social Change (2014), Institute for Social Change.

QUICK QUESTIONS What’s one autonomous decision that you make regularly? What is one decision that has been delegated to you? What is one decision you make as a team?

SMALL GROUP ACTIVITY – DECISION MAKING ANALYSIS Split the group into pairs. Each pair will select a decision from the brainstorm list and complete using handout as a reference.

SAMPLE SHORTLIST OF UPCOMING DECISIONS Finals Schedule NY State Midterm Site Visit NYC DOE Survey for Families Substitute Lesson Plans Schedule changes Behavioral Modification Plan Academic Intervention Plan Culture tracker roll-out

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TOOL 2.1 B CONT.

LEVELS OF INVOLVEMENT IN THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS

Delegate with guidelines Come to consensus Get input from group & make a decision Get input & let the team decide Make a decision & make an announcement

CONSENSUS REQUIRES THAT Everyone has the opportunity to be heard You seek a win/win solution Everyone can live with the decision and everyone is willing to actively support and help implement it

CONSENSUS IS NOT Majority vote Compromise Everyone getting their first choice A win/lose situation

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TOOL 2.1 B CONT.

FACTORS TO CONSIDER Community Buy-In: How much do key community members need to be involved so that they can confidently support implementation of the decision? Time Available: How much time can be spent on making the decision? Importance of Decision: How important (versus how inconsequential) is the issue to people in the organization or initiative? Information Needed: Who has information or expertise that can contribute to making a quality decision? Capacity: How capable and experienced are people in operating as decision-makers or as a decision-making team? Building Teamwork: What is the potential value of using this opportunity to create a stronger team? Interest: Who is interested in being part of this decision-making process?

EXERCISE – MAXIMUM APPROPRIATE INVOLVEMENT One of the most demanding challenges of leadership is maximizing winwin experiences by choosing an appropriate level of involvement. This exercise will give you practice choosing the appropriate level of involvement and communicating the rationale behind it.

INSTRUCTIONS Get into pairs. One person will work through the situation from their workplace or community that they chose. The other person will act as a coach and help the leader think through and complete the worksheets on the following pages. Remember you are not making the decision, you are determining the level of involvement of others (potentially) in making that decision.

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TOOL 2.1 B CONT.

1.

COMPLETE A KEY-PARTNER ANALYSIS First identify the key people in this decision (include their job titles or responsibilities). Then describe what a “win” or WIIFMs (What’s In It For Me) would be for each partner in this decision. A “win” means what they value or care about with respect to the decision; i.e., what would a good decision result in from their point of view?

PARTNER

WIN

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TOOL 2.1 B CONT.

2. ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

COMMUNITY BUY-IN

TIME AVAILABLE

How much do key community members

How much time can be spent on making the

need to be involved so that they can

decision?

confidently support implementation of the decision?

IMPORTANCE OF DECISION

INFORMATION NEEDED

How important, versus how inconsequential,

Who has information or expertise that can

is the issue to people?

contribute to making a quality decision?

CAPABILITY

BUILDING TEAMWORK

How capable and experienced are people in

What is the potential value of using this

operating as decision makers or as a

opportunity to create a stronger team?

decision-making team?

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TOOL 2.1 B CONT.

INTEREST Who is interested in being part of this decision-making process?

3. WHAT LEVEL OF INVOLVEMENT HAVE YOU CHOSEN FOR THIS DECISION?

4. WHAT IS YOUR RATIONALE?

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TOOL 2.1 B CONT.

MANAGING THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS The following are the questions to ask yourself in order to decide who (if anyone) to involve in your decision-making process and to understand your rationale for that level of involvement so that you can announce to the group before you actually make the decision. 1.

What is the decision that needs to be made?

2. Who are the community members that need to be considered? Who is likely to be impacted by the outcome of the decision? Who voices unheard or typically marginalized perspectives? Who functions as a connector in or across sector(s)/field(s)? Who is in a position to implement the decision? Who is in a position to prevent it from being implemented? Who has relevant information or expertise? Who has informal influence without authority? Who is responsible for the final decision? 3. What are the gains? A gain means what they value or care about with respect to the decision; i.e., what would a good decision result in from their point of view? 4. What are the factors to consider? Community member buy-in Time available Importance of decision Information needed Capability Building teamwork Interest

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TOOL 2.1 B CONT.

5. What is the appropriate level of involvement for each community member? Make a decision and make an announcement Get input and let the team decide Get input from group and make a decision Come to consensus Delegate with guidelines 6. What is my rationale for choosing this level of involvement for the community member in question?

SHARE OUT AND SUGGESTIONS Each pair will share their decision making process The group will agree or disagree with their chosen method and propose other options where applicable

DISCUSSION – HOW DO WE MAKE DECISIONS AS A TEAM? On the list of levels of decision making, where do you think most of the decisions fall for your team? Do you feel your voice is heard in the decision making process? Is there a suggestion you have that may shift the way you manage the decision making process as a team? What is the benefit of your suggestion?

CHECK-OUT Fist of 5 – How helpful/useful do you feel this information is for your team? Optional – How will you intentionally include and center young people in your school’s decision making processes?

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SECTION 2.2 SCHOOL STAFFING & ROLES GOALS To identify each level of staff’s responsibility in building a school community that can sustain Police-Free Schooling To engage your staff in a process of creating shared values for your school To think critically about the relationships to the police at each level of staffing and how those relationships will shift in a Police-Free School

GROUNDING As you move towards building and sustaining a Police-Free School it is important to consider your team. We have a long road ahead of us, one that is filled with a number of uncertainties. One thing we need to be sure of is that we have the right staff in place to handle the unique set of challenges that are before us. Gone are the days when the measure of a good educator was determined by mastery of content, observations or the passing of a standardized teacher examination. Attendance records and suspension data may no longer be the metrics by which successful schools are determined. In this season of crisis response, the gaze is turning inward toward the ways in which schools are able to care for the whole community in a holistic

way,

supporting

culturally

responsive,

healing

centered,

restorative practice is a mandated main course and no longer an optional side dish.

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SECTION 2.2 CONT.

While the capacity for this undertaking can be built through training, coaching and professional development, the foundation is somewhat inherent and innate, which means that not something everyone naturally gravitates towards or views as a priority. Let’s face it, all teachers are not the same nor do they come to the table with the same values, skill sets or lived experiences. The desire to ‘get on board’ and push this work forward may be a burning fire in some, a flickering flame in others yet nonexistent for a select few. To sustain a Police-Free School, you are going to need a strong core of staff for which the passions for equity, anti-racism, SEL, RJ and healing are alive and well. Schools are made great by the strength of their communities and communities are built and maintained by their members. School staff is a key component of this membership. They are the everyday interactors, the direct connections to families, the names, faces and personalities that represent your school on a daily basis. We hope this section will support your strategic choices of who to include on your team whenever those opportunities arise.

PRINCIPALS You are the tone setter and the one who establishes and conveys the expectations you have of your staff and for your school. Your vision must be values driven, clearly articulated and supported by your policies and decision making. One of your greatest assets in leadership is your ability to hire great people and build your team. Selecting the right people starts with learning about who they really are. We understand that you may not always be afforded the flexibility or resources needed to hire new staff or create new positions, and building the capacity of your existing staff is a task that is also on your plate. We encourage you to think about staffing in a proactive manner and consider what non-academic heartsets, mindsets, values and characteristics you will prioritize and seek out when hiring new staff.

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SECTION 2.2 CONT.

Here are some important questions to consider when hiring the staff members you need to sustain a Police-Free School: Do the candidates' values align with those set forth for your school? What are the indicators? Does the candidate have an expansive equity and inclusion lens? Does the candidate have experience working within school settings similar to that of yours? Does the candidate have a political analysis around policing in schools? Does the candidate have a racial equity lens and understand disproportionality? Is the candidate knowledgeable about school push out, the school to prison pipeline and how they are perpetuated by the presence of police in schools? Is the candidate familiar with restorative practices or interested to learn more? Does

the

candidate

approach

their

work

and

interpersonal

interactions in a way that acknowledges, respects, values and affirms the culture of others. Is the candidate humble, relatable and empathetic? Can the candidate manage power dynamics and conflict on their own or with minimal support?

ADMINISTRATORS You are the bridge between your principal and the rest of the staff. You may also do a lot to support the growth and professional development of your staff through coaching and team leadership. You may also find yourself at times ‘managing up’ as a way to support your principal and even hold them accountable to rolling out their vision with fidelity. School safety and disciplinary procedures may fall within your wheelhouse as well.

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SECTION 2.2 CONT.

This may be a lot to juggle while wearing multiple hats, but in some ways, having your hands in so many different pots makes you the glue or connective tissue that holds the school together and a conduit through which important information flows. Here are some important questions to consider as you navigate the responsibilities of your role in an effort to sustain a Police-Free School: Do I buy into my school’s mission and vision and uphold its shared values? If not, why not? What is missing or feels maligned and what can I do to change it? If so, what resonates most with me? Do I hold staff accountable to working in ways that support the school’s mission, vision and shared values? Do I feel comfortable holding the principal accountable for aligning policies and practices with the school’s shared values? If so, how often do I exercise this? If not, what needs to shift in order for me to become comfortable to own this part of my role? Do I coach teaching staff and teams considering identity and using an equity framework? What is my role as a holder of disciplinary practices at my school? Do I approach discipline and conflict resolution using a restorative framework? What is my relationship to and with the police in my school? What about my role would shift if/when the police are removed from my school?

FACULTY The role of teachers/instructional staff is essential in that they have the opportunity to create a microcosm of your school within the confines of the walls of their classroom.

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SECTION 2.2 CONT.

Though each classroom should follow and be aligned with the overarching values of your school, teachers also have the freedom to coconstruct a set of norms and expectations tailored specifically to the individuals in their classes with the members of their classes. Classrooms should be considered fertile ground for collaborative planting and sowing and a sacred, brave space where power and responsibility can be shared. Teachers should intentionally build pedagogical practices that give sufficient attention to the physical set up of their classroom spaces, the distribution of roles and responsibilities, the cultural sustainability of academic content, the sharing of power and the ways in which they navigate conflict and behavior in the space. Youth adult partnerships can be cultivated and nurtured within the classroom and it is there where students and teachers can develop emotional awareness and the skills of restorative mediation, conflict resolution, empathetic listening, circle keeping, reintegration and healing. In many ways, teachers can be considered gatekeepers because our educational systems have been designed to place power and decision making rights squarely in the hands of the adults, which means teachers wield an enormous amount of power. Having power is not necessarily a bad thing, it just depends on how one decides to use it. Teachers are faced with minute by minute decisions that can either build up or tear down the trusting environment of their classrooms. They can share their power and open up worlds of possibilities for their students or they can rule with iron firsts and use their power to deny basic human rights like using the restroom or getting a drink of water. A teacher’s pen holds the power to encourage and inspire or to judge and critique and their words can leave an indelible impression on the psyche of a young person that can follow them well into adulthood. When harnessed for good, the power a teacher possesses can be affirming, uplifting, inspiring and even transformative.

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SECTION 2.2 CONT.

Just as the teacher is the gatekeeper, the classroom is the incubator for innovative strategies that can be applied in multiple settings throughout your school. When teachers find practices that work, there should be a mechanism in place for sharing their own ‘best practices’ to the larger school community. These ‘micro strategies’ can be developed into school wide practices that strengthen the community’s ability to heal and care for itself. Teachers who are fortunate enough to have an advisory, lead an elective or even coach a sport, you can also use those opportunities to develop deeper and stronger relationships with students and find ways to connect with them outside of the classroom. Creating healing centered practices and protocols that are practiced regularly in and outside of the classroom is a definitive way to actualize a school’s shared values of reducing harm and building a culture that is fit to sustain a police free school. Here are some important questions to consider as you support the work of your teaching staff in an effort to sustain a Police-Free School: Do teachers buy into our school’s mission and vision and uphold its shared values? If so, why do I believe this is so? If not, why not? What is missing or feels maligned and what can I do to change it? Do I hold teachers accountable to teaching and working in ways that support the school’s mission, vision and shared values? If not, what needs to shift for them or myself in order for me to become comfortable with this part of my role? Do I use an equity framework and consider identity when leading teachers? What are my expectations of teachers as holders of school disciplinary practices?

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SECTION 2.2 CONT.

Do teachers approach discipline and conflict resolution using a restorative framework? Which teachers are struggling to build relationships with their students and have issues with ‘classroom management’? What is the power dynamic in their classrooms? Which teachers seem remove students from class or calling on deans, administrators or the police to resolve classroom conflict? What can I do to support my teachers to shift towards a more restorative approach? How do teachers relate to and with the police in my school? How would the role of teachers would shift if/when the police are removed from our school?

SCHOOL STAFF Staff whose role is non-instructional contribute a great deal to the development of school culture and play an integral part in setting the tone of the daily ins and outs of your school. As parent coordinators, secretaries, deans, food service providers, counselors, custodians, nurses and social workers, your staff can potentially have a great deal of contact with families and are often the necessary bridge to their level of engagement. Staff are the ones who greet people when they come to the main office, answer phone calls and questions, assist with translations and paperwork, care for students when they are sick, make sure our young people eat and are well nourished, keep your buildings clean and safe, store lost items, hook young people up with internships and opportunities, connect families with vital and necessary resources, talk through issues and problems, intervene and advocate on behalf of families and so much more! Your staff is your glue and your connective tissue. Treat them as such and coach them to harness their power as co-creators of your school community.

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SECTION 2.2 CONT.

Here are some important questions to consider as you support the work of your non-instructional staff in an effort to sustain a Police-Free School: Does staff buy into our school’s mission and vision and uphold its shared values? If so, why do I believe this is so? If not, why not? What is missing or feels maligned and what can I do to change it? Do I hold staff accountable to working in ways that support the school’s mission, vision and shared values? If not, what needs to shift for them or myself in order for me to become comfortable with this part of my role? Do I use an equity framework and consider identity when leading staff? What are my expectations of staff who hold school disciplinary practices? Does staff

approach discipline and conflict resolution using a

restorative framework? Which staff are struggling to build relationships with students and their families? How do I encourage staff who exhibit good relationship building and conflict resolution skills to share their expertise with teachers and administrators? What can I do to support staff to shift towards a more restorative approach? How does staff relate to and with the police in my school? How would the role of staff shift if/when the police are removed from our school?

SCHOOL CULTURE TEAM Culture is a word often met with pensive faces, furrowed brows and the scratching of heads.

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SECTION 2.2 CONT.

It can be a challenge to define when used in contexts that describe people and their identities and it can be even more difficult to define when used in the context of a school. School culture can be loosely defined as the ways in which the school community works together to bring to life the shared values that they have set for their school. The members of your School Culture Team should be representative of your school community. This team should have regular and frequent standing meetings and be consulted often when issues arise and when there are things to be celebrated. The Culture Team is responsible for institutionalizing schoolwide norms such as the celebrating of birthdays to conducting a thorough assessment of your school policies to determine whether or not they are in alignment with the school values. Creating shared values and norms that reflect the needs, hopes, dreams and priorities of the entire community is a sacred task.

Devising a

method to source that information in a fair and equitable way where everyone’s thoughts and ideas are validated can be a great and worthwhile challenge, one with the potential to change your school for the better. Aligning the schools policies, practices and protocols with the shared values is an effective measure of accountability and is a major task of the School Culture Team. What an exciting and crucial time to be part of a team that is tasked with the responsibility of making positive changes! Here are some important questions to consider as you support the work of your school culture team in an effort to sustain a Police-Free School: Does the School Culture Team buy into our school’s mission and vision and uphold its shared values?

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SECTION 2.2 CONT.

If so, why do I believe this is so? If not, why not? What is missing or feels maligned and what can I do to change it? Do I hold space for the School Culture Team to provide feedback and hold administration accountable to working in ways that support the school’s mission, vision and shared values? If not, what needs to shift in order for us to create a regular and restorative process for giving and receiving feedback? Was the School Culture Team recruited using an equity framework and considering identity? What are my expectations of the School Culture Team as it pertains to school disciplinary practices? Does the School Culture Team approach matters of discipline and conflict resolution using a restorative framework? Which staff are struggling to build relationships with students and their families? How does the School Culture Team engage with all members of the school community to share their expertise and best practices? How can the School Culture Team be integral in supporting a schoolwide shift towards a more restorative approach? How does the School Culture Team relate to and with the police in my school? How would the role of the School Culture Team shift if/when the police are removed from our school? Your staff is your dream team and it is up to you to assess where they are, support their growth and development and even make difficult decisions at times for the greater good of your school community. It is our hope that the following tools will assist you in thinking critically as a community about your shared values and the work you can do as a collective unit to co-create a learning environment with a foundation strong enough to sustain a Police-Free School.

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TOOL 2.2 A CO-CREATING SHARED VALUES PURPOSE To create shared values that will be the foundation for your school’s budgeting, staffing, professional development and other decisionmaking

MATERIALS Post-it Notes Chart Paper

PART ONE Participants will be given post-it notes to respond to the prompt: AT MY BEST, I AM ________. Note: the number of post-it notes each person receives can vary depending on the size of the group. The smaller the group, the more adjectives each person can choose to describe themselves at their best. In larger groups it becomes time consuming to process more.

PART TWO Once everyone has completed their post-its, we will create a list together. One chart paper with 2 columns: “I AM” and “I NEED” One by one, around the circle, people will announce the adjective they’ve chosen to transfer from the sticky note to the list under “I AM.” As we go around, people with the same or similar adjectives will group together.

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TOOL 2.2 A CONT.

If there are multiple words with similar meanings, the group will decide together which word will represent their group. Once everyone has contributed to the list, we will read the entire list together and if anyone has anything additional to add that is of major importance, they can add it at this time. Please Note: There should be no duplicates on the list

PART THREE After the ”I AM” column is complete, we will ask the question: IN ORDER TO BE _________, I NEED ________. Record responses in the next column of the paper, next to its corresponding adjective.

PART FOUR From these two columns we will construct value statements using the framing ‘WE WILL’ to transform our columns into actionable agreements. Lastly, we will transform the actionable ‘WE WILL’ statements (which can be pulled out and used as your community agreements), into VALUE statements: AS A COMMUNITY, ‘WE VALUE’____________.

SAMPLE VALUE STATEMENT At my best self, I am creative. In order to be creative, I need freedom to express myself. As a group, we will be open to honor the voices, stories, opinions, expressions and beliefs of others. As a community we value open mindedness that affirms the creative expression and experiences of our community.

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TOOL 2.2 B VALUES & POLICIES ALIGNMENT With the list of shared values from tool 2.2 A, School Culture Teams can then move forward and assess current school policies. Ultimately, the assessment and framework can support the creation of new kinds of policies that sustain Police-Free Schools.

EXAMPLE SCHOOL-LEVEL POLICIES TO CONSIDER Absences Lateness Uniform or dress codes Academic integrity Damage to school property Phone use Prohibited items Cutting class Grading, assignment completion Disobedience, “defying authority” Bullying Protest and assembly Using school computers Leaving school premises

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TOOL 2.2 B CONT.

REFLECT ON YOUR SCHOOL’S APPROACH POLICY

VALUE

DOES THE POLICY MEET THIS VALUE

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TOOL 2.2 B CONT.

DETERMINING WHAT’S NEXT When revising existing or crafting new policies, here are some guiding questions to consider through a Police-Free Schools lens: Does this reduce harm? Does this address the root causes? Does this only support the least marginalized? Does this leave behind especially marginalized people? Does this provide material relief? Is the logic behind it punitive or liberatory? Is this something we will have to work to fix or undo later? Does this bring forward new kinds of liberatory practices? Does this grow peoples’ ability to move and live? Does this increase resources that are reliable and accessible? Does this create opportunities for accountability? Does this help expose the flaws in carceral systems and logic? Does this help make future anti-oppressive work possible? Is this immediate? Does this divide people into good and bad, deserving and undeserving? Does this legitimize harmful ideas, practices, or systems? Does this create help or hurt us in the larger struggle? Does this lead to more control? Does this reduce the tools or practices that harmful systems use to harm? Does this reduce the number of people under surveillance or control? Does this increase people’s access to resources without gatekeepers, caveats, or restrictions? Does this build our capacity to resist oppression? Does this address sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and cultures of violence?

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SECTION 2.3 SCHOOL BUDGETING GOALS Identify and (re)consider the values of your school (Re)Align your budgets with the values of your school Identify how your school budget does or does not fund Police-Free Schools and supportive initiatives

GROUNDING A school’s budget is truly a representation of the school’s values, a roadmap of what that school considers most

important.

It can be

viewed as a standard, a measure of accountability and an opportunity to show and prove where your loyalties lie. As school leaders you have the opportunity to take advantage of this unprecedented time to redefine and realign your school’s values and budget so that they reflect what is necessary to sustain a Police-Free School. Now is the time to invite community members into the conversation about how and where your school spends money. Your school’s Comprehensive Education Plan (CEP) should reflect the priorities of your entire school community, including parents, teachers, and young people and how else will you know what they are unless you ask? Designate time and space to allow these partners a genuine opportunity to dream, weigh in, create and even propose edits to your school budget. We understand that police have been and are slated for the near future to be funded by the DOE centrally, funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars from school budgets into efforts to fill school campuses with police.

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SECTION 2.2 CONT.

We also understand there is limited flexibility in the ways schools are required to staff their buildings with police after traditional school hours, generating what seems like unlimited overtime pay for police, and reimbursements or funding lines that are never offered to schools to meet the needs of their communities. Given the hundreds of millions of dollars squandered by school policing each year, In sections to come, we will be sharing organizing tools that can be utilized to put pressure on decision makers to repair this breach and adequately fund our schools. For over a decade, and with a diversity of tactics, the Campaign for Fiscal Equity and Alliance for Quality Education in particular have been working to ensure New York City schools receive their fair student funding. Recognizing that operating costs are ever rising while schools are shortchanged in times of austerity, we are diving into a challenge. Here are some budgeting questions to consider to help guide you in your shift towards sustaining a Police-Free School: What are the shared values of my school community? Are these values written anywhere and accessible to all people? How are these values prioritized and who sets the priorities? Do our school wide initiatives support these priorities? How do we currently fund these priorities? Do the things that are most valuable to our community receive the most funding? What measures of accountability are in place to ensure that the budget reflects the values of the school community? What portion of our budget is spent explicitly on racial equity and inclusion initiatives? What portion of my budget is spent explicitly on mental health and SEL supports? How can I use the funds I have to sustain a Police-Free School?

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TOOL 2.3 A YOUR SCHOOL’S BUDGETING VISION BOARD This visioning activity is an opportunity for your entire school community to share their dream investments and to dream up schools that are resource-rich and whole.

TIME NEEDED 45 minutes

MATERIALS NEEDED Magazines or newspapers Scissors Markers Tape or glue sticks Cardboard or blank copy or construction paper

CONSTRUCTING VISION BOARDS Give participants the opportunity to create a vision board of their dream school. Ask participants to envision a school that has what it needs to help all people feel safe and welcome, one that is holistic and affirming for everyone to thrive in their learning environments. Have participants grab art materials such as markers, newsprints, or magazines and create a vision board of what this ideal school looks like and feels like for them. Encourage participants to be as creative as possible and for any picture that they draw to write a brief description about it. Have old magazines, newspapers and scissors available so that participants can cut out key words, phrases or images of what the

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TOOL 2.3 A CONT.

school that they deserve will look and feel like. Play fun and energetic music to keep a positive energy in the room. All participants should number the images they cut out and create a key to explain why they chose the image and if/how their images support your community’s ability to sustain a Police-Free School.

COLLECTIVE VISION BOARD SHARE OUTS Give participants the opportunity to share what they envisioned for their schools to the larger group. Once each group has had the opportunity to share out their visions, participants will create a collective vision board of all the different visions that people shared that resonated with everyone. Select a place within your school to post all of the vision boards as a reminder of your community’s commitment to becoming a PoliceFree School.

CLOSING Wrap up the activity with a closing prompt, like a one-word go around. Plan to hold onto vision boards for future tools, like values and budgeting alignment. You can also encourage “reflection journals” for participants to go into more detail about what they envision or need for the community to sustain Police-Free schools.

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TOOL 2.3 B MAPPING THE COST OF SCHOOL POLICING In understanding our school budgets, it is also important to understand the amount of public money spent on school policing across the City. The budget adopted for the period between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 included $5,224,282,581 for the NYPD, with $451,566,931 for school-based policing specifically. The 2020-2021 school year will spend the most on school policing than ever before. That budget has grown year after year for at least the past ten years, now 44% larger than what was adopted ten years ago.

BREAKING DOWN SCHOOL POLICING SPENDING BUDGET LINE ITEM

COST

School Safety Agents and Supervisors

$249.4 Million

Fringe Benefits

$119.6 Million

Assignment Differential

$3.2 Million

Longevity Differential

$1.2 Million

Shift Differential

$0.4 Million

Overtime

$34.4 Million

Uniforms

$7.3 Million

Armed Police Officers

$24.2 Million

School Policing Property & Equipment

$3.2 Million

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TOOL 2.3 B CONT.

ENVISIONING REDISTRIBUTION Redistributing $451 million of school policing spending across all 1,600 public schools, could grow every principal’s school budget by $280,000. To start at a smaller scale, part of that $451 million is nearly $5 million in “Other Than Personnel Services,” meaning expenses other than salaries and fringe benefits, such as supplies, equipment, utilities and contractual services. We offer the below visioning tool to think about all of the public money school policing gobbles up, even in the most mundane sense. What might your school community do with tens of thousands in additional funding?

SCHOOL POLICING BUDGET LINE

COST

Motor Vehicles

$450,000

Automotive Supplies

$30,000

Motor Vehicle Fuel

$30,000

Food

$25,000

Postage

$15,000

Data Processing Supplies

$80,000

Telecommunications

$100,000

Office Furniture

$45,000

Telephones

$320,000

Rentals of Miscellaneous Equipment

$180,000

Special Expense

$50,000

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WHAT COULD YOU BUILD?


TOOL 2.3 C VALUES & BUDGETING ALIGNMENT CHECKLIST With the list of shared values from tool 2.2 A, School Culture Teams can then move forward and assess current school funding priorities and spending. Ultimately, the assessment and framework can support the creation of new kinds of participatory methods of allocating existing resources. EXAMPLE SCHOOL-LEVEL FUNDING AREAS TO CONSIDER Family engagement Professional development Electives, academic catalogue Books and curriculum Salaries and hiring of personnel Trips and activities Contractors and partnerships Extracurricular programs Programming supplies

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TOOL 2.3 C CONT.

REFLECT ON YOUR SCHOOL’S APPROACH BUDGET ITEM

VALUE

DOES THIS SPENDING MEET THIS VALUE

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TOOL 2.3 C CONT.

DETERMINING WHAT’S NEXT When revising existing budgeting priorities or crafting new ones, here are some guiding questions to consider through a Police-Free Schools lens: Does this reduce harm? Does this address the root causes? Does this only support the least marginalized? Does this leave behind especially marginalized people? Does this provide material relief? Is the logic behind it punitive or liberatory? Is this something we will have to work to fix or undo later? Does this bring forward new kinds of liberatory practices? Does this grow peoples’ ability to move and live? Does this increase resources that are reliable and accessible? Does this create opportunities for accountability? Does this help expose the flaws in carceral systems and logic? Does this help make future anti-oppressive work possible? Is this immediate? Does this divide people into good and bad, deserving and undeserving? Does this legitimize harmful ideas, practices, or systems? Does this create help or hurt us in the larger struggle? Does this lead to more control? Does this reduce the tools or practices that harmful systems use to harm? Does this reduce the number of people under surveillance or control? Does this increase people’s access to resources without gatekeepers, caveats, or restrictions? Does this build our capacity to resist oppression? Does this address sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and cultures of violence?

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SECTION 2.4 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT GOALS Explore and (re)consider the professional development needs of school staff (Re)Align your professional development goals with the values of your school Determine whether or not your professional development goals help move your staff closer to becoming one with the skills, knowledge and capacity to sustain a Police-Free School

GROUNDING When you spend the time to interview, select and painstakingly build a team, it is only logical that you would then invest in that team with equal intentionality. When filling new or vacant positions, please refer to the staffing section to help you think through your staffing priorities and thoughtful ways that you might engage in that process. As mentioned before, it is a reality that some may need specific interventions to assist them in adopting the mission, vision and core values of your school community – such as staff inherited from previous administrations or those who resist your efforts to transform. Professional development is a key element in creating alignment within your staff and steering them in the direction of practicing core values. This time is not only an opportunity to acquire knowledge and develop tangible skills, it is also a time for all to be together, learning, growing and building community.

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SECTION 2.4 CONT.

According to the principles of restorative practice, 80-90% of your time as a community should be spent on developing Tier One, relational practices, which means getting to know each other, identifying shared values and creating systems of accountability together. These are not easy tasks and they require a dedication to the commitments that your entire staff has identified are necessary in order to sustain a Police-Free School. Your staff will come to you with different lived experiences. Though they work in the same school, it is a possibility that they may not share much else in common. Professional Development can be used as a great unifier that brings people together around common goals and in service of the entire school community. As an administrator, you will need to spend time getting to know each of your staff members in order to accurately assess where they are and the type of support they will need in order to be able to fully support the mission and vision of your school and embody it's shared values. Principals do not have to do this work alone and should share the task of staff assessment with Assistant Principals and other trusted members of the administration to ensure that each staff member has a personalized plan to support their individual growth and development. When devising these plans it is imperative that you also consider the needs of your school and roles that staff may be able to grow into if provided the professional development opportunities they need. The goal is to build the capacity of your staff to be able to sustain a PoliceFree School and this requires attention to the collective unit as well as the individual staff members. Staff should be involved in the crafting of their professional development plans. They should be aware of their current position and the role they play in the ecosystem of your school community but also of their potential pathway to taking leadership and

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SECTION 2.4 CONT.

making change. Professional development is the vehicle that drives your staff from where they are to where they, you and your school want and need to be. Similar to learning experiences for young people, adult learning and professional development can be truly impactful, a waste of time or even worse, harmful, counterproductive or detrimental. To follow are some questions to consider when creating a professional development plan to help guide you in your shift towards sustaining a Police-Free School:

ABOUT THE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROVIDER Does the provider specialize in a content area that is relevant to sustaining a Police-Free School? (i.e. restorative practice, healing centered practice, mediation and conflict resolution, social-emotional learning, etc.) Does the professional development provider have a diversity, equity and inclusion lens? Do they have a published DEI statement that is publicly accessible? Does the provider have a diverse pool of facilitators that represent the demographics of your school community?

ABOUT YOUR STAFF What are the growth opportunities for my staff that are directly connected to our school values? How will growth in these areas support our ability to sustain a Police-Free School? Which staff members might be resistant to certain topics? What are those topics? Is it necessary to create predetermined groups to support positive group dynamics? Is there any individual professional development required to move specific staff members into leadership roles?

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SECTION 2.4 CONT.

ABOUT THE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY Does this professional development opportunity align with the values set forth for your school? What are the indicators? Is this a professional development opportunity for the entire staff or for specific staff members? What is the rationale for this decision? What skills does this professional development opportunity provide that are needed to sustain a Police-Free School? What knowledge (theory) does this professional development opportunity provide that are needed to sustain a Police-Free School? How will we assess the usefulness of this professional development opportunity for faculty and staff? How will we evaluate the impact of this professional development opportunity on school culture and climate?

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TOOL 2.4 A PRE-WORK FOR CIRCLE PROCESSES GROUNDING Circles are an excellent tool that can be used regularly to develop a common practice of restorative communication with your staff. Circles can be used to build community, make decisions, have hard conversations, address conflict and celebrate accomplishments in a restorative way. As a leader and one who sets the agenda for your group time, you may often find yourself in the role of the circle keeper. You can use circle practices to facilitate regular staff meetings, check-ins, department meetings and even one on one coaching sessions with individual staff members. As your staff becomes more comfortable in circles, rotating staff members into the role of the circle keeper is an excellent way to share power, increase accountability and model equitable and restorative community practices that translate well into classroom pedagogy. Developing a staff circle practice will equip your team with the tools to be able to use circles in their own classroom, and we know that classrooms with a strong foundation of restorative practice often experience fewer incidents of conflict and have a greater capacity for community care and accountability. As you practice keeping circles, you can use them to creatively introduce new topics for your staff to unpack. As the keeper, you can craft a circle by developing circle prompts, which are questions or themes presented to the group to stimulate conversation about the main topic of the circle.

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TOOL 2.4 A CONT.

Each time the talking piece moves from person to person around the circle you can introduce a new prompt, scaffolding your questions to become deeper and more complex with each revolution, which is called a ‘round’. Every member of the circle has an opportunity to respond to the prompt of each round if they choose.

While sharing is never a

requirement, each person must touch the talking piece to signify their presence in the circle, keeping in mind that at times, a participant’s silence speaks as loud as their words. It is important to note that we all have particular things that are challenging for us. In the beginning, circles may feel unorthodox to some, especially if they are not used to interacting in slower, more intentional ways. Circles require patience and the slower pace may feel frustrating at times. We all have personal histories that inform how we respond to things and may make us feel as if our buttons are being pushed by certain issues or types of personalities. We encourage everyone to try to be aware of your buttons. As you lead your staff to develop a circle practice, be mindful to check your biases regularly and encourage your staff to do the same. It is good to get a gauge of how the thoughts and behaviors of your team are aligned with your school’s values and community agreements.

ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF A CIRCLE Seating of all participants in a circle, with nothing in the way Opening ceremony, or a way of marking the start of the circle, separating this time/space from what came before Centerpiece, or a collection of items that can have representative value to the circle members or relation to the circle topic placed in the center of the circle atop a mat or cloth Values/guidelines, such as your school’s group agreements Talking piece, essentially an item that members pass around the circle as they share that can be taken from the centerpiece

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TOOL 2.4 A CONT.

Only the person with the talking piece should be speaking until they pass it to the person next to them, with each circle member touching the talking piece as it goes around, even if they choose not to share Guiding questions, which are prompts that lead and shape the discussion and should usually be ordered beginning with low stakes questions, choosing to raise them higher with intention Closing ceremony, or a way of marking the end, separating this time/space from what will come after Circle Keeper

CIRCLE KEEPER The keeper is in a relationship of caring about the well-being of every member of the circle and is a participant in the circle. The keeper assists the group in creating and maintaining a collective space in which each participant feels safe to speak honestly and openly without disrespecting anyone else.

WHAT CIRCLE KEEPERS DO The keeper assists the group in creating and maintaining a collective space in which each participant feels safe to speak honestly and openly without disrespecting anyone else. The keeper monitors the quality of the collective space and stimulates the reflections of the group through questions or topic suggestions. The keeper is in a relationship of caring about the well-being of every member of the circle and is a participant in the circle.

WHAT CIRCLE KEEPERS DO NOT DO The keeper does not control the issues raised by the group or try to move the group toward a particular outcome. The keeper is not an enforcer of the guidelines. The responsibility for addressing problems with the guidelines belongs to the entire circle. It is not the keeper’s role to fix the problem the circle is addressing.

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TOOL 2.4 B CIRCLE PROMPTS FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ROUND ONE Low stakes questions designed to break the ice, introduce topic and set the tone: What is one aspect of your role here that gives you deep satisfaction? What is one aspect of your role here that you find challenging? One word answer: Having police in our school makes me feel... One word answer: Not having police in our school would make me feel...

ROUND TWO Medium stakes questions designed to invoke reflection: When you reflect on your role, what is one area where you feel that you have a level of expertise and can support your peers? Are you comfortable moving into a leadership position in that area? Why or why not? When you reflect on your role, what is one area where you often feel as if you need support? Do you feel comfortable asking for help in that area when you need it? Why or why not?

ROUND THREE Higher stakes questions designed to encourage storytelling: Share a time when you had an interaction with or witnessed an interaction with police that made you feel safe? Share a time when you had an interaction with or witnessed an interaction with police that made you feel unsafe?

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TOOL 2.4 C COLORING PAGE

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SECTION 2.5 GETTING SET GOALS Assess your school’s current relationship with policing Identify ways to leverage your leadership Map out the resources available in your school and community

GROUNDING Police in schools do not function to meet people's needs or prevent harm – it reacts. We see police use the weight of the legal system to punish people well after conflict or harm happens. Instead, police suppress peoples’ movement and access to space in schools through a threat of violence, and reinforce the status quo or mandate an oppressive idea of “order” and “order maintenance.” If we are building and sustaining Police-Free Schools, we need to create and support liberatory ways of being in community with one another, meet the community’s basic needs for dealing with conflict and harm, disrupt the idea that police in schools are legitimate, and help people imagine a world without school policing. We can’t assume that everyone working together has the same goals or understanding of what policing means or is (or has the same working definition). The school-prison nexus, otherwise known as the schoolconfinement pathway, and the prison industrial complex (or PIC) have disrupted everyday social life, shaping the very way “safety” is understood. To draw from the writing of Dylan Rodriguez:

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SECTION 2.5 CONT. “What has made the prison and policing apparatus in its current form appear to be so permanent, necessary, and immovable within the common sense of social change and historical transformation? In this sense, teachers and students can attempt to concretely understand how they are a dynamic part of the prison regime’s production and reproduction–and thus how they might also be part of its abolition through the work of building and teaching a radical and liberatory common sense (this is political work that anyone can do, ideally as part of a community of social movement).”32

Many people agree that they do not want violence – but may not agree on the details. As a starting place, it is good practice to set shared goals, and take time to separate the goals from the practice. A team of community

A school community without interpersonal

à

violence

assessing and helping meet people’s basic needs Time spent to build community

A school community without any police

members dedicated to

à

intervention

understanding that non-law enforcement responses take precedent Study groups, community surveys, and political

Consensus on a world without police

à

education to shift consciousness around the why and the how, and what a world without police can look like

Healing-centered, restorative, engaging learning environments

Experimenting with à

participatory decision-making, consensus, and showing up

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SECTION 2.5 CONT.

We are not working to create new kinds of school policing. For that reason, we resist the efforts that are essentially polite requests to police to be kinder and gentler, such as the following:

EXAMPLE – TRAINING & RETRAINING POLICE Pours funding and resources into police Perpetuates the myth that police violence is carried out by untrained police Refuses to recognize violence is inherent to the role of police, it’s in the job description Puts unfounded trust in police to use their discretion to be benevolent Does nothing to restrict or limit police power or capacity to harm Grows the infrastructure to support police as individuals, at the expense of those impacted by policing Endorses the presence of police in schools

EXAMPLE – INCORPORATING POLICE IN RESTORATIVE PRACTICES Exposes young people to the threat of police violence by creating situations for young people to be in proximity to police Creates an opportunity for police to surveil or collect information on or from young people and school community members Perpetuates the myth that conversation, or police/community relationships will end police violence Compromises the integrity of your school’s restorative practices Pretends the existing power relations are not there Encourages a false sense of safety from police violence Increases funding to police for training in restorative practices or overtime costs to participate Extends public relations support to a violent institution

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TOOL 2.5 A SELF ASSESSMENT

ISSUE 1 POLICE PRESENCE

How many officers are in your school full-time? How often do police come in uninvited? How often are police called?

How do you respond now?

What would your goal response be?

How can you shift practices to get closer to your goal?

What do you need?

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TOOL 2.5 A CONT.

ISSUE 2 POLICE POWER

What are police doing in your school? How do they use their power? How do they make decisions?

How do you respond now?

What would your goal response be?

How can you shift practices to get closer to your goal?

What do you need?

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TOOL 2.5 A CONT.

What do police have at their disposal?

ISSUE 3

How are policing tools being used in your school?

POLICE TOOLS

How do non-policing tools get co-opted by police (e.g. rooms, elevators, staircases, hallways)?

How do you respond now?

What would your goal response be?

How can you shift practices to get closer to your goal?

What do you need?

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TOOL 2.5 A CONT.

ISSUE 4

How are you challenging the notion that policing is

POLICE CULTURE

used to keep people safe?

How do you respond now?

What would your goal response be?

How can you shift practices to get closer to your goal?

What do you need?

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TOOL 2.5 A CONT.

REMAINING QUESTIONS WHAT DO I WANT?

WHAT DON’T I WANT?

WHAT CAN I DO?

DOES MY COMMUNITY SHARE MY GOALS?

WHAT CAN WE DO TOGETHER TO GET THERE?

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TOOL 2.5 B ASSET MAPPING With the understanding that your school and community are full of good things, asset mapping offers a tool for highlighting and growing the strengths and resources that are already available. A community asset or resource is anything that improves the quality of community life. When we depict our assets in a map, we can more easily think about how to address community needs that come up. If you work with community members in constructing the asset map, the process itself can become an organizing tool. Imagine working with your school community to identify all of the knowledge, skills, and resources available. The goal would be to include the kinds of information that may be excluded from what oppressive systems categorizes as an “asset,” instead centering what school communities view as contributions to the community. In combination with other kinds of participatory action research projects – like interviews, surveys, and observations – asset mapping can promote the knowledge of the community to strengthen the community.

WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER AN ASSET?

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TOOL 2.5 B CONT.

MAPPING YOUR SCHOOL COMMUNITY’S ASSETS – OPTION 1 DEFINE COMMUNITY BOUNDARIES:

IDENTIFY & INVOLVE PARTNERS:

COMMUNITY

PEOPLE

PHYSICAL SPACE

SERVICES

INSTITUTIONS

ASSOCIATIONS

COMMUNITY ASSETS

DREAMS & IDEAS

SKILLS

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RESOURCES, TOOLS


TOOL 2.5 B CONT.

MAPPING YOUR SCHOOL COMMUNITY’S ASSETS – OPTION 2

PEOPLE

ORGANIZATIONS

INSTITUTIONS

Time

Opportunities

Resources

Skills

Services

Educational

Knowledge

Social Support

opportunities

Commitment

Experience

Funding

Passion

Networks

Buildings

Relationships

Capacity

Influence

¯

¯

¯

Students

Student

Libraries

School Staff

Government

Parks

Administrators

Parent Teacher

Gardens

Family Members

Association

Parking Lots

Community

Leadership Team

Businesses

Members and

Community Based

Colleges

Organizers

Organizations

Cultural Institutions

Superintendents

Community

Hospitals

Council Members

Education Councils

Community

Artists

Civic Groups

Centers

¯

¯

¯

YOUR EXAMPLES

YOUR EXAMPLES

YOUR EXAMPLES

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TOOL 2.5 B CONT.

A PARTICIPATORY ASSET MAPPING GRID WHERE...

WHO... ...DO YOU GO TO FOR...

FRIENDSHIP REST FOOD STUDYING ACTIVISM MOVEMENT / SPORTS FUN / JOY ART HEALTH CONFLICT PEACE / CALM HELP SOLUTIONS RESOURCES SPACE CONVERSATION [

]

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TOOL 2.5 C REFLECTING ON ABOLITION The prison industrial complex, or PIC, is made up of systems, including schools, that use policing, surveillance, confinement and control to limit the freedoms of people and suppress dissent, resistance, and the underlying issues of need. We offer an activity for small groups of school staff to reflect together on political principles around Police-Free Schools, namely, the abolition of the prison-industrial-complex.

TIME NEEDED 30 minutes

SUPPLIES NEEDED Reflection pages printouts Writing and/or coloring utensils Excerpts from “Are Prisons Obsolete,” 2003, by Angela Y. Davis.

GROUP ACTIVITY Read aloud the first excerpt (PART I), found on the following page Using the reflection page, ask that the group reflect on what the prison industrial complex looks like in your school – draw a reflection and write up a reflection Encourage the group to share out what they’ve created: Where are there similarities? Where are there differences? Where is there consensus? Where are the opportunities for further discussion? Read aloud second excerpt (PART II)

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TOOL 2.5 C CONT.

Using the second piece of the reflection page, ask that the group reflect on what abolition would mean for their school Encourage the group to share out their reflections: Where are there similarities? Where are there differences? Where is there consensus? Talk through where to go from here: Can anything happen right now? What can be done to get there? What obstacles are in the way? What commitments can be made?

PART I: UNDERSTANDING THE PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX “In thinking about the possible obsolescence of the prison, we should ask how it is that so many people could end up in prison without major debates regarding the efficacy of incarceration. When the drive to produce more prisons and incarcerate ever larger numbers of people occurred in the 1980s during what is known as the Reagan era, politicians argued that “tough on crime” stances–including certain imprisonment and longer sentences–would keep communities free of crime. However, the practice of mass incarceration during that period had little or no effect on official crime rates. In fact, the most obvious pattern was that larger prison populations led not to safer communities, but, rather, to even larger prison populations. Each new prison spawned yet another new prison. And as the U.S. prison system expanded, so did corporate involvement in construction, provision of goods and services, and use of prison labor. Because of the extent to which prison building and operation began to attract vast amounts of capital–from the construction industry to food and health care provision–in a way that recalled the emergence of the military industrial complex, we began to refer to a “prison industrial complex.”

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TOOL 2.5 C CONT.

PART II: UNDERSTANDING ABOLITION “If jails and prisons are to be abolished, then what will replace them? This is the puzzling question that often interrupts further consideration of the prospects for abolition. Why should it be so difficult to imagine alternatives to our current system of incarceration? There are a number of reasons why we tend to balk at the idea that it may be possible to eventually create an entirely different–and perhaps more egalitarian– system of justice. First of all, we think of the current system, with its exaggerated dependence on imprisonment, as an unconditional standard and thus have great difficulty envisioning any other way of dealing with the more than two million people who are currently being held in the country’s jails, prisons, youth facilities, and immigration detention centers. “It is true that if we focus myopically on the existing system… it is very hard to imagine a structurally similar system capable of handling such a vast population of lawbreakers. If, however, we shift our attention from the prison, perceived as an isolated institution, to the set of relationships that compromise the prison industrial complex, it may be easier to think about alternatives. In other words, a more complicated framework may yield more options than if we simply attempt to discover a single substitute for the prison system. The first move, then, would be to let go of the desire to discover one single alternative system of punishment that would occupy the same footprint as the prison system.”33

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TOOL 2.5 C CONT.

WHAT DOES THE PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX LOOK LIKE IN YOUR SCHOOL? Your Drawing:

Your Words:

WHAT WOULD ABOLITION MEAN FOR YOUR SCHOOL? Your Drawing:

Your Words:

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SECTION 2.6 RAISING CONSCIOUSNESS GOALS Take stock of how policing shows up in your school community Consider radical critiques of schooling as it exists today

GROUNDING In protest of the current conditions of schooling, we are working together to develop a constructive critique, and from there determine our own needs and responses. Sustaining Police-Free Schools requires a commitment to building strong, cohesive school communities. The more we get to know one another, the more trust is created in schools, growing the number of people we can call upon to help us navigate times of crisis or need. Consciousness-raising in this context involves increasing the school community’s awareness of conditions that sustain oppression, where people are encouraged to make sense of their role within oppressive structures. In developing a shared critique with your school community, we offer the following excerpt from David Stovall’s writing, “Are We Ready for ‘School’ Abolition?” (2018): “‘School’ as an US institution primarily rewards students for order and compliance, which should also be considered part and parcel of the larger projects of settler colonialism and white supremacy/racism. Similar to the rationales provided to us by prison abolitionists, the call in this document is for radical educators to challenge themselves to think of ‘school’ beyond the building that houses young people for 8-10 hours a day. Imperative to the separation of ‘school’ and education, ‘school’ abolition in this sense seeks to eliminate the order, compliance and dehumanization that happens in said buildings while allowing for the capacity to image and enact a radical imaginary.”34

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SECTION 2.6 CONT.

Police-Free Schools center on support instead of surveillance and control. We must transform our thinking, our conditions, and our responses. Over the past several decades the NYPD has worked to establish a monopoly on and a gigantic hyper-funded system of responding to school conflict with police violence. There are small and mighty moves that can be made to reduce your school’s reliance on policing in the immediate and short-term. Because we are building the schools that do not yet exist, sustaining Police-Free Schools requires ongoing collective thinking and experimentation. There is hope to draw from all around; people are already building noncarceral ways to confront conflict, violence, and other harms in schools and communities. When experimenting with other ways of doing things, the goal is to reduce the harm and make it safe for all kinds of people and behavior to exist in school, and not to leave anyone behind.

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TOOL 2.6 A KNOW WHAT’S INSIDE THE PATROL GUIDE Outside of the instances when police are called by those inside of school, there are many situations where the police show up anyway. The NYPD’s Patrol Guide outlines the duties and responsibilities of different kinds of policing roles. Many such duties and responsibilities include maintaining contact with you, principals and administrators. We offer an activity for small groups of members of the school community to become more familiar with these kinds of roles and possibilities.

TIME NEEDED 45 minutes

SUPPLIES NEEDED Copies of a section or sections of the NYPD Patrol Guide, available online at: nyc.gov/site/nypd/about/about-nypd/patrol-guide.page Pens and/or markers

GROUP ACTIVITY Encourage participants to read the patrol guide section The facilitator should read the section out loud once Then ask for volunteers to read the section round-robin style Ask questions about the section (see below) Finally, you can ask participants to write their own vision of alternatives or opportunities for intervention

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION What do you think of what you read? How does it make you feel? Is this new information to you? Why might that be the case?

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TOOL 2.6 A CONT.

Who reads this? Who doesn’t? Are there any words, phrases, or sentences that you want to raise? What is the message or point of this material? What is the tone? Where are there opportunities for intervention?

CLOSING ACTIVITY – BLACKOUT POETRY After reflecting on opportunities for intervention, ask participants to participate in a closing activity meant to create something different out of this paper Blackout poetry describes taking a marker to already established text, like the print outs, and covering or redacting words until something resembling a poem is formed. The key thing with a blackout poem is that the text and redacted text also form a sort of visual poem Share your own example or the example to follow with participants Encourage participants to share out their creations as a way to close the conversation

SAMPLE BLACKOUT POEM

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS There is much to discuss in other documents, such as Chancellor’s Regulations,

the

citywide

discipline

code,

collective

bargaining

agreements, and the Memorandum of Understanding between the Police Department, Schools, and the City of New York, to name a few. We recommend that you repeat this activity, engaging with multiple texts.

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TOOL 2.6 A CONT.

A GLIMPSE OF THE PATROL GUIDE PROCEDURE #: 202-12 Special Operations Lieutenant

EXCERPT: Maintain contact with principals of local schools; (a) Ensure that neighborhood coordination sergeant and youth coordination officer are maintaining contact with these institutions

202-19c

Regularly confer with school principals, school staff, school safety

Neighborhood

personnel to identify crime and quality of life conditions affecting the

Coordination

command; Visit schools regularly and confer with principals and

Sergeant

School Safety Division supervisors regarding school-related conditions

202-30 Youth

Visit schools and confer with school principals and school safety

Coordination

personnel to help reduce and prevent violence

Officer

202-32 Community

Visit schools frequently; Confer with principals on delinquency and

Affairs

other youth related problems

Officer

202-32a

Visit schools frequently and confer with school principals and school

Neighborhood

safety agents at public schools regarding problematic conditions,

Coordination

violent crime, and gang/crew activity. When possible, participate in

Officer

school activities/events to build positive relationships with students

215-13 Handcuffing/ Restraining Students Within School Facilities

Members of the service should confer and coordinate with school administrative staff, including the principal, dean, teachers and guidance counselor in instances where it may be necessary to restrain a student...

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TOOL 2.6 B SCHOOL POLICING AUDIT As part of your school working together to grow an anti-carceral political analysis, you should account for the full-scope of policing. Outside of talking about it, holding focus groups or school forums, you can work with your school communities to better document the presence, scope, and reach of policing and policing culture in your school – both in the everyday routine and in the exceptional circumstance. Documentation can be a critical way to raise awareness of the issue, and a tool to reach, organize, and support the people most impacted. The goal of the audit is to inspire collective action. For making changes to demilitarize your school in the immediate- shortand long-term, we offer the following audit tool, to be done independently and/or with a designated school team, as classrooms, or as a student-led undertaking. The tool is a starting point, knowing your school community is best able to map out all of the many pieces of policing.

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TOOL 2.6 B CONT.

SCHOOL POLICING AUDIT TOOL IDENTIFY PHYSICAL BOUNDARIES OF YOUR SCHOOL:

IDENTIFY YOUR AUDIT TEAM:

KEY: SCOPE – How many? Where? When? How often? IMPACT – Who is being targeted? What happens? INTERVENTION – How will you reduce the scope or mitigate the impact?

PEOPLE

SCOPE

IMPACT

INTERVENTION

School Safety Agents School Safety Supervisors School Safety Task Force Officers Patrol Officers Neighborhood Coordination Officers Detectives

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TOOL 2.6 B CONT.

Crossing Guards Youth Officers, Youth Coordination Agents Unknown Other: Transit, Housing, etc.

INFRASTRUCTURE

SCOPE

IMPACT

Metal Detectors Surveillance Cameras Surveillance Monitors

Window Bars

Locks

Zip Ties

Chains

Gates

Barricades

Fencing

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INTERVENTION


TOOL 2.6 B CONT.

TOOLS

SCOPE

IMPACT

INTERVENTION

Handcuffs

Batons

Chemical Spray Electroshock Weapons Firearms

Zip Ties

Warrants

Summonses

Juvenile Reports

Warning Cards Interviews & Questioning Searches

Threat of Force

Physical Force

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TOOL 2.6 B CONT.

Detaining

Rooms Information Gathering

EQUIPMENT

SCOPE

IMPACT

Lighting Hardware

Radios and Phones

Computers

Scanning Wands Surveillance Structures Vehicles

Noise Systems Amplification Devices Other Supplies

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INTERVENTION


TOOL 2.6 B CONT.

ACTIONS

SCOPE

IMPACT

INTERVENTION

Patrolling

ID checks

Camera Monitoring

Online Surveillance

Language, Tone

Seizure of Property

Stops 911 Calls, Calls to Precincts Escalation

Watching Conferring with School Staff Entrance/Exit Monitoring Participation in School Activities

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TOOL 2.6 C REVIEWING SCHOOL-LEVEL DATA City, State, and Federal laws require schools to collect and report data on student discipline, police interventions, and outcomes. The public has access to school-level data through a Local Law known as the Student Safety Act, with public reporting available on the Department of Education’s and NYPD’s websites. We offer the below breakdown of the citywide numbers of school-based police interventions and suspensions, as compared to student enrollment:

Asian

Black

Latinx

Students Not

White

Students

Students

Students

Represented

Students

Student Enrollment

Students Targeted by Police

Students Suspended

2018-2019 School Year

All of 2019

2018-2019 School Year

We encourage you to work with your school community to make citywide and school-level numbers more accessible and transparent, to then begin to plan out how to move forward as a collective.

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TOOL 2.6 C CONT.

Determining the absolute number or count of incidents can help you gain perspective on whether policing and exclusion is frequent or common. The rate, or the number of students with a particular characteristic or outcome, provides information about the proportion of an event within a group. Rate can answer the question “what is the number of suspensions per 100 students?” The relative rate ratio, the rate of a group and a rate of comparison group, identifies disproportionate rates by examining the relative differences between the two groups. Relative rate ratio can answer the question, “how does the suspension rate among Black students compare with the suspension rate among white students?”

Number of students with a characteristic RATE =

x 100 Total number of students in the group

Rate of group of students with a particular characteristic RELATIVE RATE RATIO =

Rate of comparison group of students with the same characteristic

GOALS Reviewing data cannot stand-in for listening to or lifting up real stories about who policing impacts from students, their families, and educators in your school. It may be helpful to organize the data and stories in a way that helps to explain the issues that are present and also focus on the potential solutions. Having a very clear understanding of the data is one practice to help members of the school community hold one another accountable to shift practices.

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TOOL 2.6 C CONT.

GUIDING QUESTIONS Here are a few questions to help support you in leveraging data in the work to sustain Police-Free Schools: Why do community members say the numbers are what they are? Is the focus of practices on prevention and engaging community members in school? Is the issue schoolwide or isolated? What are the reasons or reported behaviors for which students are targeted? What behaviors result in the highest rates? Are there differences in the types of behaviors or offenses that lead to responses across racial or ethnic groups, disability status, gender? What happens before and after incidents? Are there issues that reduce the quality of teacher-student relationships? Do people currently have agreements about how conflict is resolved? What practices are being implemented well? What practices need improvement? Do we solicit the perspectives and help of families and the community to maintain a welcoming educational climate that supports learning? How do we know that our current interventions are working?

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TOOL 2.6 C CONT.

CITYWIDE NUMBERS OF SUSPENSIONS & POLICE INTERVENTIONS : SY2019-20 Student

Suspensions

Rate of students

Rate compared

racial/ethnic

Students

and classroom

suspended or

to rate of white

group

enrolled

removals

removed

students

White Students

169,583

4,263

2.5

1.0

Black Students

286,775

19,930

6.9

2.8

Asian Students

182,776

2,455

1.3

0.5

Latinx Students

456,980

17,692

3.9

1.5

30,387

876

2.9

1.1

1,126,501

45,216

4.0

N/A

Rate of students

Rate compared

racial/ethnic

Students

Police

targeted by

to rate of white

group

enrolled

interventions

police

students

White Students

169,583

635

0.4

1.0

Black Students

286,775

6,092

2.1

5.7

Asian Students

182,776

500

0.3

0.7

Latinx Students

456,980

3,927

0.9

2.3

30,387

108

0.4

0.9

1,126,501

11,262

1.0

N/A

Race Categories Not Represented All Students

Student

Race Categories Not Represented All Students

Example Conclusion:

Black students were 5.7 times as likely to be targeted by police in schools than white students in 2019.

© 2020 BY GIRLS FOR GENDER EQUITY, INC. ● PREVIEW ● PAGE 117


TOOL 2.6 C CONT.

YOUR SCHOOL WORKSHEET Student

Suspensions

Rate of students

Rate compared

racial/ethnic

Students

and classroom

suspended or

to rate of white

group

enrolled

removals

removed

students

Rate of students

Rate compared

White Students Black Students Asian Students Latinx Students Race Categories Not Represented All Students

Student racial/ethnic

Students

Police

targeted by

to rate of white

group

enrolled

interventions

police

students

White Students Black Students Asian Students Latinx Students Race Categories Not Represented All Students

PAGE 118 ● PREVIEW ● © 2020 BY GIRLS FOR GENDER EQUITY, INC.


SECTION 2.7 COMMITMENTS The more cohesive we become as a community to create solutions and resolve issues, the less likely we will be to turn to punitive, exclusionary options. To wrap up the toolkit’s tools, we offer a graphic organizer to help assess, identify and coordinate resources for your school communities and neighbors. Use the guiding questions below to complete your “My Commitments” organizer on the page to follow.

YOUR SCHOOL

What transformation can you envision?

HEADLINE

What can you bring to life this year?

RESTORATIVE

What is your assessment of your staff’s

DECISION-MAKING

current mindset around decision-making? How will you revisit the decision-making workshop? How often do people join your decisionmaking team? When are your next team meetings?

SCHOOL STAFFING

What are the shared values of your school

& ROLES

community? Print them out and post them in your school, revisit them often. How can you intentionally tie your school’s values to policies in your school charter/handbook moving forward?

© 2020 BY GIRLS FOR GENDER EQUITY, INC. ● PREVIEW ● PAGE 119


SECTION 2.7 CONT.

Have you recruited your Culture Team? What ‘power’ will that team hold? What is their first project? SCHOOL

What is one budget allocation from your

BUDGETING

dreaming that you will make a reality in your school next year? How can you intentionally tie your school’s values to specific spending/budget lines in your school budget moving forward?

PROFESSIONAL

What are the growth opportunities for your

DEVELOPMENT

staff that are directly connected to our school values? What skills are helpful to sustain a PoliceFree School?

GETTING SET

In what ways are you shifting your personal perspective of policing? In what ways are you planning to shift your reliance on policing?

RAISING

What story does your policing audit tell?

CONSCIOUSNESS

What will your story say now?

To bring this all together, we offer the graphic organizer on the following page to map possible ways to proceed.

PAGE 120 ● PREVIEW ● © 2020 BY GIRLS FOR GENDER EQUITY, INC.


TOOL 2.7 GRAPHIC ORGANIZER

© 2020 BY GIRLS FOR GENDER EQUITY, INC. ● PREVIEW ● PAGE 121


SECTION 3 ONWARD At the time this toolkit preview has been released there is tremendous uncertainty and a sense of disorganization as schools resume for fall instruction. We also feel strongly that these structural issues must be addressed in tandem with organizing and advocacy efforts to shift power and the system’s decision-makers to be responsive to the demand of Police-Free Schools. The coming months will require us to incorporate the spirit of the summer’s uprising into our education equity demands and work. By this we mean that “safe schools” are Police-Free Schools. Stay tuned for the launch of additional sections speaking directly to educators, students, and families and community members. Thank you so much for engaging with this toolkit. Take care. To connect with GGE in the meantime, reach out to us at the following contacts:

Email

info@ggenyc.org

Twitter

@GGENYC

Instagram

@GGENYC

Facebook

Facebook.com/girlsforgenderequity

Subscribe to our List

bit.ly/GGECampaigns

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ENDNOTES 1

See, Anyon, J. (1980). Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work. The Journal of Education, 162(1), 67-92. Suddler, C. (2019). Presumed Criminal: Black Youth and the Justice System in Postwar New York. New York University

2

Press. Page 131. Ravitch, D. (2000). The great school wars: A history of the New York City public schools. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins

3

University Press. Citing Page 405. See, Tuck, E. and Yang, K.W. (2012). Decolonization is not a metaphor. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society,

4

1(1):1-40. Ravitch, D. (2000). Citing Pages 6, 80, 25, and 82.

5 6

Ravitch, D. (2000). Citing Pages 110, 112, and 164.

7

National Criminal Justice Reference Service. New York Police Department. (1993). The History of the New York City Police Department.

8

Browne, S. (2015). Dark matters on the surveillance of blackness. Durham: Duke University Press. Citing Page 78.

9

Lardner, J., and Repetto, T. (2001). NYPD: A City and It’s Police. Picador. Citing Page 3.

10

Lardner & Repetto. (2001). Citing Page 18.

11

Lardner & Repetto. (2001). Citing Page 23. Johnson, M. S. (2004). Street Justice: A History of Police Violence in New York City. Beacon Press. Citing Page 14.

12 13

Lardner & Repetto. (2001). Citing Page 31. Johnson (2004). Citing Page 17 and 30.

14 15

Johnson (2004). Citing Page 31.

16

Noble, K.A. (2017). Policing the Hallways: the Origins of School-Police Partnerships in Twentieth Century American Urban Public Schools. University of Florida. Citing Page 50. National Criminal Justice Reference Service. New York Police Department. (1993). The History of the New York City Police

17

Department. Citing Page 8. Noble, K.A. (2017). Citing Page 56; Citing the Mayor’s Committee on Juvenile Delinquency, “Report of the Juvenile Aid

18

Bureau and the Prevention of Crime and Delinquency. (New York City, 1944). Pope, C. (2019). Unthinkable: A History of Policing in New York City Public Schools & the Path toward Police-Free Schools.

19

Children’s Defense Fund New York. Citing Page 5. 20

Noble, K.A. (2017). Citing Page 56.

21

Feld, B.C. (1999). Bad Kids: Race and the Transformation of the Juvenile Court. New York: Oxford University Press. Citing Page 82; Gilbert, J.A. (1986). A Cycle of Outrage: America’s Reaction to the Juvenile Delinquent in the 1950s. New York: Oxford University Press. Citing Page 14.

22

Pope, C. (2019). Citing Pages 6 and 9.

23

Pope, C. (2019). Citing Page 9.

24

Noble, K.A. (2017). Citing Page 94.

25

Pope, C. (2019). Citing Page 11.

26

Caldwell, E. (1968, January 23). Donovan Appeals for Security Men to Guard Schools. The New York Times, Retrieved

from http://www.nytimes.com. 27

Buffett, N.P. (2018). Crossing the Line: High School Student Activism, the New York High School Student Union, and the

1968 Ocean Hill-Brownsville Teachers’ Strike. Journal of Urban History, Vol. 45(6) 1212–1236. 28

Goldman, A.L. (1978, April 21). Anker Seeks Police Outside Schools. The New York Times. Retrieved from

http://nytimes.com. 29

Noble, K.A. (2017). Citing Page 18.

30

Newman, M. (1995, June 1). Giuliani Chides Cortines For Resisting Use of Police. nytimes.com.

31

Toy, V.S. (1995, October 14). Gresser Fails to Sway School Safety Commission. nytimes.com.

32

Dylan Rodriguez. (2008). The disorientation of the teaching act: Abolition as a pedagogical position. Radical teacher,

88(1), 7-19. Page 13. 33

Excerpts from “Are Prisons Obsolete,” 2003, by Angela Y. Davis. Page 12, and Pages 105 to 106.

34

David Stovall. (2018). Are We Ready for ‘School’ Abolition? Thoughts and Practices of Radical Imaginary in Education.

Taboo: The Journal of Culture and Education. 17 (1). P.51.



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