Student-Led Discipline Conference
Durojaiye Rosa, Jamual Perdue, and Jarvell Miller presented at Malcolm X College on Saturday May 2nd, 2015 to speak on Restorative Justice practices in front of CPS teachers, parents, students and district personnel.
Reflection by Durojaiye Rosa:
We spoke about our personal history with being disciplined by CPS policies and the ways it has affected us, and how we now think these policies should change. Most of the policies aren’t fair to us students. During the presentation we were just trying to give our perspective on restorative justice and how our side of the story should be heard and how discipline (punishment) does not change our behaviors.
During the presentation we were very nervous and excited, but also ready to present because I felt in my heart that this topic is very important and should not stay behind close doors any longer. It was nice to know that we had a room of adults listening to us and not speak over us and it felt better to know that they were not judging us. For me, and most of my friends, we never had our voices heard by our teachers, at least not in this way. We were actually talking about policy, rules, and what they do to us mentally and emotionally.
I am proud of what we did on Saturday. We weren’t up there in suit and ties pretending to be people we are not. We were ourselves; spoke, dressed, and laughed the way we would any other day. They heard us, they listened, and they understood. Spaces like this should exist for students all around the city; this is what will bring down the amount of fights and bad behaviors that exist today – not suspensions. On one last note – for all of the teachers and adults in schools, before you suspend ask yourselves did you listen.