Twin Cities youth and their adult allies received supportive honking and shouting from drivers as they gathered with banners at the intersection of University Avenue and Lexington Parkway in St. Paul on March 13. Their aim: to raise awareness about discipline concerns in schools and to demonstrate against the school-to-prison pipeline.
The group of about 30 advocates marched down University Avenue to Gordon Parks High School where they were joined by additional students and supporters. Standing in front of Gordon Parks High School, some students took turns sharing personal experiences with disciplinary action in schools.
This was the second rally organized in recent weeks by the NAACP St. Paul Youth and Collegiate Branch. The first was a rally and march from Central High School to St. Paul Reformation Lutheran Church on February 26.
Surrounded by a group of students and supporters chanting, “school-to-prison pipeline, stop, stop, stop,” Maya Jones, a 17-year old student at Central High School and member of the St. Paul chapter of the NAACP, explained a little about how she views the school to prison pipeline. “By suspending students instead of having to help them figure out why they are getting into trouble in school, and the more students that are suspended, the more likely they are to end up in prison,” she said.
Jones said that the NAACP is partnering with Save the Kids and MN Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC) to create future events to raise awareness about these issues.
Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.
CORRECTION: It’s Save the Kids, not, as originally written, Save the Children. Thanks to Anthony Nocella for the correction.