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Edison High students will protest in front of police station Wednesday

Below is a press release I received about a protest planned Wednesday at 4 p.m. in front of the Miami-Dade School Police Department, 6100 NW 2nd Avenue in Miami.

On Wednesday March 5th, 4:00pm Power U youth and youth from Edison Senior

High School will join together in front of the Miam


Below is a press release I received about a protest planned Wednesday at 4 p.m. in front of the Miami-Dade School Police Department, 6100 NW 2nd Avenue in Miami.

On Wednesday March 5th, 4:00pm Power U youth and youth from Edison Senior

High School will join together in front of the Miami Dade School Police
Department to protest the unfair arrests that happened Friday February 29th
at Miami Edison, and to demand a completed feasibility study for Restorative
Justice that was promised in January. This study and indecisive
administration stand in the way of implementing Restorative Justice in
schools.

The youth of Power U Center have been demanding the Miami Dade Schools to
implement a program of Restorative Justice in the schools, starting with
Booker T. Washington Senior High as a pilot program. They have been upset
with the treatment of students in school as realized last week with the
situation at Edison. The school Police promised to have a feasibility study
for restorative justice done by January’s School Board meeting.

At February’s meeting School Police Chief Gerald Darling assured us that the
report was done and we would receive it shortly. It has now been 3 weeks
and there is no evidence that a report has even been started. Power U youth
member Travae Brown says “We are tired of waiting for this report and being
disrespected by the School Police. The violence that happened at Miami
Edison shows exactly why we need Restorative Justice in our schools instead
of police who don’t respect young people, especially young Black people.”

It is essential that Restorative Justice be implemented in the schools in
order to decrease schools’ dependence on arrests and suspensions as a way of
solving issues. Restorative Justice is a form of problem and issue solving
that provides everyone involved a voice, engaging the community in order to
address the root of the problem through dialogue.

Punishment, especially in the form of suspension and arrest has been proven
to be ineffective and actually harmful, with high rates of recidivism among
youthful offenders, and increased rates of dropouts amongst students.
Restorative Justice has been utilized in school districts such as Chicago
and Minnesota with amazing results, at times reducing suspensions from
30-50%.

The arrests and beatings that occurred at Miami Edison on Friday were a
tragic and extreme example of a systemic problem that is occurring everyday
in Miami Public Schools, and that is exactly what the students were
protesting. Black students are particularly impacted by harsh discipline
policies and the heavy dependence on police to deal with issues in the
schools, as they are arrested at extremely disproportionate rates. Edison
Senior Chrisford Green states: “We didn’t organize this protest because of
just one incident. We just got fed up. That kind of stuff happens all the
time here.”

Power U Center and Miami Edison Youth will be joined by students from the
University of Miami and by CopWatch as well as other allies.

When: Wednesday, March 5th, 2008, 4 pmWhere: 6100 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL 33127

More STUDENTS Join together to RALLY for demands after Edison uprising.
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