Young Activists Coalition has been a powerful force in the organizing community of Cincinnati for the past four years. We have spent much of this time focusing on the big issues affecting our nation and state, including gun violence, the climate crisis, reproductive healthcare, income inequality, and more. We’ve done our best to ensure that young people have had a say in and the ability to stand up proudly for the things we believe in, but in doing so, we have inadvertently ignored some of the issues that affect young, high school students the most. We never tackled the issues that we face from 8 AM to 3 PM, 5 days a week. We never tackled the fact that cops with guns are in our schools. We never tackled the complete lack of mental health resources available in schools. And we most certainly never tackled the roles our schools play in enforcing the racist school-to-prison pipeline through the implementation of zero tolerance and punitive policies. We, the members of Young Activists Coalition, will never make the mistake of ignoring how broken our schools are ever again.
It is for these reasons that we are now officially launching the Fix Our Schools campaign. Through this campaign, we will organize and mobilize student bodies in high schools all over the Greater Cincinnati area to demand that our schools no longer serve as enforcers of the colonialist, white supremacist system, but rather serve as a model of what our world can look like. Fixing our schools can show us what a world without policing can look like, it can show us what a world without punitive responses to harm, and with transformative and restorative justice can look like, it can show us what a world that cares for and defends its most marginalized people can truly look like.
The demands of this campaign are plentiful, and may vary from school to school, but can be summarized very succinctly: We demand that our schools become socially just places of learning that teach us to care for our most marginalized communities. We demand that our schools become a place of radical love built on transforming our world.
If you are interested in reading through our full demands (which may vary from school to school) they are listed below:
- Restorative/Transformative Justice in schools
- Removing police officers from schools
- Elected student representatives on school board
- More just curriculum
- Inclusive sex-ed
- Climate justice
- Anti-racist curriculum
- Inclusive of LGBTQ+ community
- Remove metal detectors
- Increase teacher salaries
- Create systems of accountability for teachers and administrators
- More counselors and mental health resources in schools
- Prevent overcrowded classrooms
- Constructive and well-funded anti-discrimination policies:
- Better protections for disabled students
- Re-allocation of funds in a more equitable way
- Open budgets
- Trans-inclusive schools