Chicago Parents Meet Parent and Youth Activists in Denver, Colorado

Nine POWER-PAC leaders and the Dean of Students at Reavis Elementary School in Chicago traveled to Denver in late January for a 2-day learning exchange. They shared their work in conversations with parents, youth, and staff of Padres & Jovenes Unidos (Parents and Youth Together) and they got to hear more about their work in Denver schools. Both groups have been successful in reforming school discipline policies in their districts.

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The POWER-PAC group also visited a once-troubled high school that has been transformed by implementing restorative justice and met with Denver Public Schools officials and a police officer. They learned about district-wide discipline policy changes that are making a difference, increased police accountability in the schools, and a new state law in Colorado requiring school districts to incorporate alternatives like restorative justice into their discipline code and prohibiting automatic expulsions (with the exception of gun offenses).

Parent leaders returned energized and with lots of new ideas, ready to put them into action.

COFI thanks the Just and Fair Schools Fund for their support of this learning exchange.