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Calls to Action from Restorative Justice Forum – TFA

Calls to Action from Restorative Justice Forum

March 18, 2021 by TFA Staff

Thank you for joining us at the TFA Community Forum on Restorative Justice: Disrupting the School to Prison Pipeline. You can view the full event on Facebook here.

As discussed on the panel, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma impact behavior and we have to adjust how we treat children in the juvenile system and in schools accordingly. The culture and practices in place in schools tremendously impact the number of referrals received by juvenile courts, with over 90% of referrals to the juvenile court system coming from schools. To provide better outcomes for students, schools need to embrace a culture of communication and collaboration with families. Panelists also shared their take on ‘zero tolerance’ policies, stating they are not effective and should be reevaluated or abolished by schools and school districts. 

At Teach For America, we are grounded in our core value of learning continuously, and in doing so, wish to acknowledge that we are always striving to incorporate more perspectives into our programming.  We hope everyone who attended was able to listen, learn, and contribute to the conversation by sharing their own valuable perspective. This forum is a launching off point for more conversations around restorative justice and the school to prison pipeline, including understanding what actions we can all take toward dismantling systems that negatively impact children.

Calls to Action from Panelists:

  1. Educate yourself about how your actions around student discipline impact student’s life trajectories: Endzerotolerance.org, Take Action – Counselors, Not Cops
  1. Stop criminalizing children’s misconduct in schools. 
  1. Mentor a child in need. Involvement makes a difference. 
  1. Separate the deed from the doer. Look at kids as people, not problems. Advocate for more mental health professionals in schools.  

Thank you to our panelists Kosha Tucker, Judge Peagler, Brett Pinion, Anissa Patton, and Dr. Veneschia Bryant for sharing your experiences, knowledge, and calls-to-action with each of us.

Kosha Tucker (Metro Atlanta 2006), Principal for the Wren Collective

Desiree Sutton Peagler, Judge of DeKalb County Juvenile Court

Brett Pinion, Deputy District Attorney – Juvenile Court for Fulton County

Anissa Patton (Los Angeles 1991), Child Welfare Law Specialist with Fulton County

Veneschia Bryant, EdD, Social Emotional Learning Coordinator for Atlanta Public Schools

This event was put on by the Teach For America Metro Atlanta Leadership Council. Special thanks to Leadership Council members Aarti Sharma (Miami-Dade 2006) and Asia Baysah (Memphis 2007) for your leadership and vision.

In partnership,

The Teach For America Metro Atlanta team