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To: Bobby Scott and Miguel Cardona

Let's stop the trend towards the school to prison pipeline

Let's stop the trend towards the school to prison pipeline

Dear Chairman Bobby Scott and Dr. Miguel Cardona,

Our names are Laia-Grace Lim and Savannah Williams and we are seniors in the Social Work Program at Texas Woman’s University (TWU). We are writing to ask for you to consider appropriate funding, proper staff training, and effective implementation within schools for the H.R.4011 - Counseling Not Criminalization in Schools Act. We hope that both of you can help promote and push this bill to pass the Committee on Education and Labor, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, to hopefully pass both the House of Representatives and the Senate and then President Joe Biden.

We believe that this policy statement promotes a fair and non discriminatory stance toward the end of the school-to-prison pipeline. This bill was recently introduced in 2021 and it prohibits the use of funds towards law enforcement within schools. H.R. 4011 addresses the needs of marginalized students and helps improve student achievement within their education. It proposes a grant program, to provide schools with mental health and trauma-informed services.

When I was a child, my brother almost went to a juvenile detention center, he was in middle school. My brother had undiagnosed ADHD throughout middle school, and our father had been in prison for the past five years, with almost ten left to go. As my brother went through middle school, he was in detention almost every day. He began getting into fights in school because he felt targeted by his teachers. More fights landed him in more detention. The cycle continued until he was expelled, but the aggression came home with him. To this day he struggles with alcoholism, anger issues, and now he is a perpetrator of domestic violence in past relationships. My brother was never given the chance to heal or to get help for everything he was struggling with, he was subject to zero tolerance policies in school which led him to a juvenile detention center. My brother is a white male in America, I can not fathom how much more extreme the repercussions are for a minority in America.

Thank you for your time. We hope to gain your support on our advocacy plan for change with the H.R.4011 - Counseling Not Criminalization in Schools Act.

Sincerely,
Laia-Grace Lim and Savannah Williams

Why is this important?

Our purpose is to inform and to promote social change within our education system. We want to focus on the structure first, where the students develop and learn different behaviors and attitudes. This is a vulnerable and important time for students so, we want to advocate for better staff development and implementation of non discriminatory practice in schools. We are advocating towards mental health and trauma-informed practices to be put into schools nationwide. The students need support, not to be reprimanded unfairly with punishment.

Updates

2022-04-19 15:42:44 -0400

100 signatures reached

2022-04-16 21:47:28 -0400

50 signatures reached

2022-04-15 13:25:55 -0400

25 signatures reached

2022-04-13 16:32:29 -0400

10 signatures reached