Rosalva Nava (right) and fellow POWER-PAC members pose with Jadine Chou, CPS’ Head of Safety and Security, after Rosalva testified supporting changes being made to the Code of Conduct and challenging CPS to make sure there are resources to support full implementation.
On June 25th, the Chicago Board of Education passed sweeping revisions in the Student Code of Conduct that make major changes for elementary school students and aim to help stop the school-to-prison pipeline. POWER-PAC, along with its allies and partners, has been organizing for many of these revisions for the past 9 years through the POWER-PAC Elementary Justice Campaign!
Here are some highlights:
• Children preschool through 2nd grade can NOT be suspended and for students 3rd through 12th grade, suspension must be a “last resort”;
• BANS silent lunches and other punitive group punishment;
• Administrators must develop a plan to support students that are suspended for more than 3 days;
• ELIMINATES mandatory expulsions for students through fifth grade, unless a weapon is involved; and
• Makes sure parents receive written notice when their child is suspended.
POWER-PAC member, Rosalva Nava, spoke during the Chicago Public School’s Board Meeting saying “We are thrilled to see these positive changes. We know that we still have more work ahead, though, to ensure the full implementation of these changes and the full investment of resources needed.”
Since 2005, POWER-PAC’s Elementary Justice Campaign has worked persistently to influence policies to bring back recess in the schools, increase school discipline data transparency and accountability, and create alternatives to punitive school discipline. For a blast from the past, look here at the recommendations that POWER-PAC presented to CPS when they first launched the campaign. They now have successfully accomplished each of these recommendations – and will work to assure that these policy changes become real on-the-ground culture change in the schools!
Congratulations to POWER-PAC for their dedication, passion, and hard work!