We actually did it. After the debates, public hearings and letter-writing campaigns, advocates for school disciplinary reform heard a decision from the Maryland State Board of Education that was three years in the making. The Board decided to eliminate zero tolerance policies and enact a common-sense approach to school discipline.
Time and again, the ACLU receives calls from Marylanders, usually poor and of color, who have fallen victim to the failed war on drugs. Many describe the illegal searches and verbal intimidation they experienced at the hands of law enforcement officers in the misguided, racially biased, and endless hunt for marijuana.
Relying on suspending or excluding students doesn’t get to the root of behavior problems or make them more interested in school. But a new video, Up for Debate, shows how the Baltimore Urban Debate League has helped students become motivated learners. Watch the video.
We are members of the Core Alliance of Youth Leaders of Community Law in Action. Many of us have been charged as adults and held at the Baltimore City Detention Center, an adult jail.
We’re still processing all of the amazing and inspirational words we heard at Big Change Baltimore, OSI-Baltimore’s 15th Anniversary forum. We’ll be writing and talking a lot more in the coming weeks about the forum, and more importantly—our future work in Baltimore. Watch videos from Big Change Baltimore here.
Five years ago, fresh out of college, I taught my first creative writing workshop in a Baltimore school. That very first day—nervous, young, worried that the kids would see through my lack of expertise—I met a child who lived to write.
We give young people the tools to express emotions that cannot be put into words. We help them understand empathy, and what it feels like to be in someone else’s shoes.
I would encourage any senior leader who is looking for ways to learn about him/herself, while accomplishing good in the community where their businesses operate, to work with local non-profits and organize some volunteer activities.