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In response to Sandy Hook, President Obama has announced a comprehensive plan to address gun violence. There were several proposals including those focused on school safety. Part of the plan enables U.S. public schools to hire up to 1,000 more school police OR school counselors.

In Chicago, parents, educators, students, advocates, and community members gathered on January 24th to discuss their concerns about the President’s proposal to offer funds to school districts to hire more police or counselors. Attendees of the gathering were worried that many districts will decide to hire police officers rather than to invest in more counselors to help address the root causes of student disciplinary issues. As the Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) points out:
“Schools around the country have invested heavily in security measures such as metal detectors, armed police officers and school resource officers (SROs), often with devastating results for students – especially students of color, LGTBQ students, and students with disabilities. As research by the American Psychological Association and others has shown, these measures, which are usually implemented along with “Zero Tolerance” discipline policies that employ suspensions and expulsions, have neither increased graduation rates nor made students feel safer. In fact, they have increased the time students spend out of school and increased arrests and referrals to the justice system – especially for nonviolent student behavior like “disrespect” – and further increased racial disparity in school exclusion and educational outcomes.”
With these realities in mind, a coalition of individuals and organizations in Chicago have formed to ask the Chicago Public Schools to pass a resolution that would state unequivocally that any new funding received from Federal grants to improve school safety based on the President’s gun reform plan will be used to hire COUNSELORS not cops.

More details will be forthcoming on this effort in the coming days. In the meantime if you want to participate in this effort, email  yes2counselors@gmail.com. Also, you can take action by mailing the president of the Chicago Board of Education a postcard saying YES to Counselors, NO to cops!
 



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One billion women violated is an atrocity.  
One billion women dancing is a revolution.

This Valentine’s day, February 14, 2013, the worldwide organization VDAY is asking women and the people who love them RISE, DANCE, and DEMAND an end to the violence affecting women everywhere.  It’s about strength in numbers, because One Billion People dancing will literally SHAKE THE GLOBE

So WHEN, WHERE, and WHO is RISING in CHICAGO?!

Chicago is RISING at Grace House, a facility for women leaving Illinois prison and reentering society.  They will be taking this to the STREETS to DANCE and reclaim their lives, bodies, spirits, and let the world know the abuse must end.  

There will be performances by Chicago dance companies, top Chicago Disc Jockeys, live singers, and a block party to
Please join us on February 14, 2013!
Time: 2:00-3:00pm
Location: Michael Barlow Center: 2120 W. Warren Blvd 

Use the links below to stay posted on current event details, artists, and get in contact with ONE BILLION RISING CHICAGO if you would like to be more involved in any way!    MOVE THE EVENT FORWARD through Facebook, Twitter, etc:

Stay updated, start speak out NOW and get ready to SHAKE this GLOBE on February 14th! It's time to make a change…dare to dance.
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