For Immediate Release | January 18, 2022
Contact: Jim Hile – Director of Digital Engagement and Communications
(734) 717-9687 | email@example.com
ARTISTS AND THEOLOGIANS LEAD FIGHT TO PROTECT KIDS IN SCHOOL
New Campaign Draws Attention to Abuse of Students and the Urgent Need for
Cultural and Legislative Change
Washington, DC – Today, The Expectations Project, a D.C.-based nonprofit mobilizing people of faith to demand excellent public schools for children who are Black, Brown, in poverty or otherwise marginalized, launched the Let a Child Be a Child campaign addressing the traumatic effects of policing on children in K-12 schools and the lack of adequate support staff to support student needs. The campaign is joined by prominent rappers Derek Minor and Propaganda, public theologian and co-host of the popular Truth’s Table podcast, Ekemni Uwan, gospel artist Melinda Watts, and independent artist William Matthews, formerly podcaster with The Liturgist.
“Our goal at The Expectations Project has always been to protect children and put their needs first. Children need nurses, counselors, psychologists. Despite little evidence proving that policing in schools actually prevents violence, two-thirds of high school students in the U.S. attend school with an officer on staff,” shared Zakiya Jackson, president of The Expectations Project, adding, “I wish my brothers hadn’t been assaulted in school. I wish our schools had culturally responsive classrooms and trauma-informed faculty and staff. This campaign, in partnership with our talented influencers, brings attention to the needs of our children and how through both culture change and the passage of Senator Murphy’s ‘Counseling Not Criminalization in Schools Act,’ we can let our children in fact be children.”
Introduced alongside Representatives Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar, and Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Counseling Not Criminalization in Schools Act (S.2125) would prohibit the use of federal funds for maintaining police in schools and help hire counselors, social workers and other support personnel instead of police. Nearly 35 million students are in a public school with police officers, but without key support staff like counselors, nurses, and psychologists. Black children represent 19% of pre-school (ages 3-5) enrollment, yet account for 47% of pre-school suspensions. This campaign draws attention to the critical work that needs to be done to provide children with equity and safety. The campaign will run through the Spring of 2022 and mobilize thousands of faith-motivated advocates to stand up and speak out to support students and decriminalize youthfulness.
The Expectations Project mobilizes people of faith to act nationally and locally to eliminate education inequity.