News & Events

Nov 11

On November 11th Teachers Unite joined the Dignity in Schools Campaign-New York for a rally on the steps of Tweed Courthouse to call on the Mayor and Chancellor to make changes to the Discipline Code, including removing suspension as an option for "defying authority" and provide resources and support to schools to implement restorative justice approaches.

Teachers Unite member Tyler Brewster spoke alongside students from the Urban Youth Collaborative. Below is an excerpt from her speech. Read the full thing here: http://bit.ly/1oHdEHP

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Read the full thing here: http://bit.ly/1oHdEHP

Restorative justice isn’t just an idea. I have been on the ground and in the trenches and seen it in action! I know that restorative practices work. It’s so much more than “going soft” on the kids. To be restorative does not mean to abandon all structure and “take it easy” on our students. Instead it serves to empower our students and strengthen the bonds of the community. It pushes students to be accountable and teaches them the skills they need to resolve conflict and repair harms. It encourages a sense of responsibility and it holds the potential for saving our future from the juvenile justice system.

... Whenever I speak on this topic, a particular student comes to mind. Let’s call him Student A. Now, Student A. had been to the school’s SAVE room so many times we could have named it after him. He had also been suspended countless times, and he had even been arrested. It was rather apparent that these traditionally punitive methods were not working. Each time he returned from a removal, he was angrier, more jaded. One day, it dawned on me: I had to do something different. Why not have a conversation with Student A.? Ask him about his needs, his goals in life. Help him develop a plan. A plan so that when he stumbled—because that’s what students are supposed to do—we as educators would be there to pick him up—because that’s what educators are supposed to do. So I did, and it was one of the most powerful and positive experiences of my career. I could immediately sense he was shocked anyone had given him the time of day. He told me, and I quote, he was used to being treated like a problem, so he acted like one.

Now I know some of you are waiting for the fairytale ending to this story, the one where I tell you Student A. never got in trouble again. But restorative approaches are not magic tricks. It’s a process, a journey, a way of life. So what about Student A.? Well, he still has his struggles, but he attends school regularly now and even wears a uniform. He has now begun to shift his view of what school is and is now able to see education and the places it can take him as a real possibility for himself. While that may seem insignificant to some, to me that is a huge success.

Oct 29

Come kick off our Fall FUNdraiser

Help schools practice transformative justice* and end the suspensions that increase students’ chances of dropping out or being incarcerated

Fall HAPPY HOUR FUNdraiser
Friday, November 7th
5 to 8pm
at Dive Bar

732 Amsterdam Ave @ 96th Street
1/2/3/B/C to 96th

$15 for a sweet Teachers Unite wristband = happy hour prices all evening!
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All are welcome (21+)

Let us know you’re coming!
RSVP: anna@teachersunite.net
Or on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1ylFnhD

* Transformative justice is a philosophy that looks at what harm was done, and focuses on how to best repair that harm by giving the victim of the conflict and the community in which the conflict happened a voice and a role in the process of achieving justice.

Flyer attached

Oct 29

Join us at Teachers Unite’s first Media & Storytelling Meetup!

Come build a community of educators committed to principled storytelling,
share media tools and skills, and contribute to story-based campaigns for social justice.

Thursday, November 13th
5-7pm

@ Teachers Unite
90 John Street, Suite 308
in Lower Manhattan
2/3/4/5/J/Z/A/C to Fulton

Please rspv: anna@teachersunite.net
Flyer attached
Bring a snack to share!

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Read Hiram's story here.

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