The impact of "Zero Tolerance" in our public schools has been devastating to African American youth and their families. When a child is suspended or expelled - the whole family pays the price. Routine activities are disrupted, schedules shift, and responsibilities often need to be re-negotiated. The whole family is suspended.
Until recently, concerned parents have been preoccupied with correcting the behavior of their children; getting them the help they need to adapt and excel in the public school environment. The focus of our collective efforts has been to bind the wounds and stop the bleeding. Continued hemorrhaging has been the most visible outcome of our efforts.
Unwittingly, we as a society have declared war on our kids. At Maxine Mimms Academies, we have come to realize that the real need is to "Stop the Bullets" - and the bleeding and hemorrhaging will go away.
The steps we take to accomplish this goal must start with the Tacoma School District and lead to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in Olympia. Daily operating procedures in our schools stem from the policies adopted and implemented by the Tacoma School District and OSPI.
Disproportionate impact of the current "Zero Tolerance" policies on African American males and children of color in general, is truly cause for alarm. It is time to declare a "State of Emergency"! A whole generation of our children are at risk of being excluded from public education and the benefits a high school diploma can provide. You cannot afford to sit this one out!