Student Led Community Forum Seeks to Work in Partnership with LBUSD

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syudent and parent led forum

The “Every Student Matters” Community Forum will be held on Saturday, March 30, 2013 in the community center at Cesar Chavez Park. Student leaders from the Building Healthy Communities (BHC) Long Beach Youth Committee and “Every Student Matters” campaign have organized the forum. It will feature a panel of student and parent leaders sharing their experiences with school climate and discipline issues.

The Every Student Matters (ESM) campaign is the first student-led policy advocacy campaign being organized by the BHC Long Beach Youth Committee. The ESM campaign is focused on promoting practices, policies, and programs in the Long Beach Unified School District that help students stay in school and graduate on time. The campaign seeks to work in partnership with LBUSD leaders, educators, parents, and students to promote a positive school climate and proactive alternatives to punitive, exclusionary discipline practices that currently remove students from the classroom and school. We seek to foster school discipline practices that address the root causes of behavioral issues, restore justice, and put students on a path to success.

The BHC Long Beach Youth Committee is a leadership “powerhouse” for young people ages 14-24 from Central Long Beach, as well as the greater Long Beach area. The Youth Committee is composed of more than 30 youth leaders from participating organizations, including Khmer Girls in Action, the California Conference for Equality and Justice, Centro CHA, Californians for Justice, Men Making a Change, Educating Men with Meaningful Messages, along with at-large youth residents.

Key goals the ESM campaign seeks to achieve in partnership with LBUSD include:

  • Piloting Restorative Justice practices and other alternatives to exclusionary, punitive discipline, especially in middle schools and high schools. Restorative Justice practices use dialogue in circles as both a proactive practice to prevent conflict as well as to respond to conflict and disciplinary matters
  • Developing a consistent discipline policy and framework for all LBUSD schools that provide overall guidance for school discipline practices with flexibility for school-site decision-making
  • Reducing the disproportionate suspension and expulsion of students of color, especially African American students
  • Reducing suspensions at schools where more than 10% of students have received suspensions by promoting alternatives that keep students in the classroom and school

The “Every Student Matters” Community Forum will take place on Saturday, March 30, 2013 from 4:00 – 5:30 pm in the community center at Cesar Chavez Park, 401 Golden Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90802. The event is FREE and open to all interested community members.


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