News & Events

Mar 10

Join a conversation with educators, students, and parents (all are welcome!) about implementing Restorative Justice in NYC schools. Bring questions & challenges to share and discuss from your work growing RJ at your schools!

Thursday, March 10th in the Bronx:

Cornerstone Academy for Social Action (CASA) Middle School
5:00 to 6:30pm
3441 Steenwick Ave.
5 to Eastchester Dyre Ave.

There will be pizza. Flyer here.
RSVP at TinyURL.com/CASAmeetup

Thursday, March 17th in Manhattan

The James Baldwin School
4:30 to 6pm
351 W. 18th Street
L/A/C/E/2/3 to14th Street / 8th Ave.

There will be pizza. Flyer here.
RSVP at TinyURL.com/BaldwinMeetup

Mar 8

What do YOU want to tell the Mayor about Investing in Schools, Not Police?
Share your thoughts in our brief survey here: tinyurl.com/SchoolsNotPolice

TU members and our partners in the Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) have spent over a decade in the movement against zero tolerance, metal detectors, and increased policing in schools.

In his preliminary budget released in January, Mayor de Blasio proposed nearly $45 million for positive school safety resources. When it comes to the criminalization of students, the political tide is turning thanks to committed, grassroots organizing.

But shouldn't this money go to... schools?

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Schools have long been asking for the capacity to hire a Restorative Justice Coordinator on staff to support student and family leadership, professional development, and community involvement. These are key to sustainable and meaningful positive shifts in school culture.

However, 88% of the school climate package funds a piecemeal continuation of professional development training by unaccountable private vendors rather than going to schools through a coordinated plan.

Our members know too well how ineffective programs can be when run by those disconnected from a school 's community. The assumption that those outside of public schools are educational "experts" has given rise to a host of destructive reforms. With this in mind, Teachers Unite members and DSC-NY provided the Mayor and Chancellor with a blueprint for successfully supporting Restorative Justice in schools from the bottom up.

As we state in our video message, Restorative Justice is not a trendy new buzzword or a policy mandate from above. It is a reflective, cultural shift that takes years for schools to learn. Let's invest in our public schools by respecting their choices for how to best shift school climate.

What if the mayor's budget allocated $20 million to school site staffing, youth and parent leadership, as well as professional development and coordination? We demand that the mayor's budget do this right and kickstart something inspiring, something that lasts.

What do YOU want to tell the Mayor about Investing in Schools, Not Police?
Share your thoughts in our brief survey here: tinyurl.com/SchoolsNotPolice

Make Your Voice Heard! Join Teachers Unite and DSC-NY at the Education Budget Hearing on Wednesday, March 16th. For more info, write to info [at] teachersunite [dot] net.

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New Resource for Schools!

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Dignity in Schools-New York is thrilled to release the third installment of our case study series, co-written & edited by Teachers Unite: Building Safe, Supportive and Restorative School Communities in New York City, Vol. III

This case study shares stories from four NYC public schools that are working to move away from punitive discipline and instead creating restorative, just, and inclusive school climates, with or without the support of the Department of Education. The schools profiled each emphasize the need for multi-stakeholder decision-making, creating core values upon which school communities are based, and not shying away from difficult, necessary conversations about race and racism during this shift from punitive to restorative.

Teachers Unite member Nicole Riley, dean at Edward A. Reynolds West Side High School, profiled in the case study, shares the story of her school implementing restorative justice practices over several years. She emphasizes the need for schools to contextualize the this work within a broader struggle to address racism: "Many teachers are unconsciously unaware of their own white privilege and embedded racism. We need to recognize the vast and varied forms of racism that our students face in our society.

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Parents, teachers, and community members discuss action plans for improving school climate at M.S. 22, one of the schools profiled.

Schools and organizations can use the case study to engage teachers and students, parents, administrators, policy-makers, and their elected officials about what it will take to transform schools.

Check out more resources from Teachers Unite here and here. And write to anna [at] teachersunite [dot] net for hard copies of the report!

Brooklyn Restorative Justice Schools Meetup

Join us for a Brooklyn Restorative Justice Schools Meetup!

Featuring a screening of the new short documentary “Circling Justice”

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at Expeditionary Learning School for Community Leaders
Tuesday, November 17th
4:30 to 6pm
2630 Benson Ave
D to 25th Ave. / N to 86th St. / F to Ave. U

Students, educators, parents, community members—all are welcome!
& There will be pizza.

Please RSVP here.
Questions: email anna [at] teachersunite [dot] net
Flyer attached!

Our Open Letter in Huffington Post

An Open Letter to Every Teacher Who Has Told a Student to Put Away a Cell Phone

Dear U.S. Public School Educators,

In the wake of the #AssaultAtSpringValleyHigh, in lunchrooms and teachers' lounges across the country, many educators reacted with shock that any teacher would call security for such a commonplace, modern-day classroom struggle as "Put away your cell phone." They questioned why teachers didn't intervene when their number one role is to protect their students. And they expressed the obvious: that teachers should be supported to grow their practice, including classroom management and de-escalation skills, not call police in instances of everyday adolescent behavior.

Read the whole call to action here

Amendments passed on Student Safety Act!

The New York City Council passed a set of sweeping reforms to the Student Safety Act that will result in increased data reporting on school discipline practices and their impact on our city’s children. The amendments will require, for the first time, reporting by both the NYPD and the Department of Education on the use of metal detectors, handcuffs and restraints in city schools.

Teachers Unite has been a member of the Student Safety Coalition since its beginning. Teachers Unite's Executive Director, Sally Lee, made a statement at a September 29 press conference celebrating the amendment.

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Educator Social for Dignity in Schools Week of Action!

Did you know? It’s the Dignity in Schools National Week of Action!

There’s no better time to learn what Teachers Unite membership is all about

Educator Social!

Growing Fairness screening + discussion + Food & Drinks + Meet TU Members

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Tuesday, October 6th
5 to 7pm
LGBT Community Center

208 West 13th Street
A / C / 1 / 2 / 3 / L to 8th Ave + 14th St.
21+ / $5 suggested donation
Please RSVP here
Questions: email anna [at] teachersunite [dot] net
Flyer attached

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