Union resolutions

Resolution in support of safe and supportive schools

WHEREAS, every child deserves a school that is safe, supportive and inclusive; and

WHEREAS, citywide, students of color are 3.5 times more likely to be suspended than their white peers; and

WHEREAS, students living in homeless shelters are suspended at twice the rate of their peers with permanent housing; and

WHEREAS, students with disabilities are two times more likely to be suspended than their peers; and

WHEREAS, students who are suspended three or more times by their sophomore year are more than five times as likely to drop out of school; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Education, under the de Blasio administration, changed and amended the Discipline Code without providing additional resources to all schools to support a collaborative and safe culture; and

WHEREAS, many administrators continue to under report violent incidents to comply with Department of Education mandates; and

Whereas, many teachers report that student discipline remains a challenging issue in schools, and many members know of a colleague who left the profession because of student discipline issues; and

Whereas, in 2015, the DOE allocated $500,000 to District 18 to introduce a district wide social/emotional pilotinitiative that resulted in 25 percent fewer suspensions and a 19 percent reduction in incidents; and

WHEREAS, in 2017, the DOE allocated $8 million to expand the District 18 pilot program to 150 additional schools to provide professional development on how approach discipline in a non-punitive manner; and

WHEREAS, the Positive Learning Collaborative is a DOE/UFT Initiative in 23 schools since 2014; and

WHEREAS, the Positive Learning Collaborative provides intensive training and direct consultation with school staff to equip educators with the skills, knowledge and confidence to prevent crises and help students focus on academic goals; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the United Federation of Teachers will continue to support additional and ongoing professional development for school communities on non-punitive practices, and be it further

RESOLVED, that the UFT calls on the DOE to expand positive school climate programming in all New York City districts as well as to provide adequate funding for PLC so that all districts have access to intensive support initiatives; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the UFT reaffirms 1) the right of educators to shape professional development programming, including the creation of school-based climate equity teams 2) increased counselor-to-student  ratios 3) social-emotional  intelligence programs that matches the needs of students and their community.

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