Fall Family Symposium - November 23

From Seattle Public Schools, Public Affairs:

Seattle Public Schools is committed to preparing all of our students to graduate ready for college, careers and life.

The goal of the Family Symposium is to support our families as critical partners in their students' academic success. At this symposium, families and community partners will learn how to support student academic achievement at home and in the community.

Please join us!

Saturday, Nov. 23
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Garfield HIgh School
400 - 23rd Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122

Directions & Map

Supervised child activities for ages 4 and up
Light breakfast and lunch will be provided
Community Resource Fair

Learn how to support your child with:

Math, Science, Reading/Writing, Early Learning, Community Arts, Understanding School and Student Data, College and Career Readiness, and much more.

More Information: Family Symposium Flyer


empowered culture said…
This topic should be at the Symposium for ALL families, taken from MY fb page.

As Americans, we have a tendency to 'cherry pick' justice.

To often, Injustice, discrimination, inequality, inequity is something for us to observe, talk about, rationalize, agree with, quietly support, and even actively perpetuate as long as it is happening to some other kids; in some other community. Historically, we continue to fail to recognize "what we allow for one will eventually happen to all". This is the case of DISCIPLINE DISPROPORTIONALITY in SPS; if SPS can educationally abuse students with black, red and brown skin for decades than why can't SPS educationally abuse students with disabilities?

Many parents are outraged at the harsh discipline of white children with disabilities but many may not understand or feel any affinity to black parents fighting to save black children subjected to harsh discipline due to race and sometimes both race/disabilities. As we would love to see no child treated unfairly, we are UNAPOLEGETICALLY AFRICAN, and our focus is to demand justice for some of the most educationally abused children in the Seattle School District "the black child".

Below is except from a position paper on
Discipline and Disproportionality in Special Education by a Seattle School Advisory Committee

"The application of school discipline to Special Education Students in Seattle Public Schools is perceived by the Special Education Community as an unjust and punitive practice which is disproportionately applied to Special Education Students. These practices include over-referrals to law enforcement as well as overuse of exclusionary discipline including long term and short term suspensions. Further, there is a large concern that current available data underreports the problem. Families report that students who are identified as receiving Special Education services are over-identified for discipline and receive harsher penalties, possibly due to bias on the part of administration when encoding incident data. Many parents are also concerned about the lack of documentation of students spending large portions of the day in “time-out” rooms or other non-educative spaces or parents being called to pick up their child during the school day for behavioral reasons. Parents who are called frequently to pick up their child from school for disciplinary reasons report that they lose hours at work and may also lose their jobs entirely due to having to respond to discipline issues at school. Parents also report increased stress at home and at work. Students report feelings of worthlessness, stress, insomnia, feelings of alienation, feelings of being “set up to fail,” and being misidentified as a “bad kid.”

No child should be subjected to this, and every community should stand against it AND WE SHALL!

Many parents are outraged at the harsh discipline of white children with disabilities but many may not understand or feel any affinity to black parents fighting to save black children subjected to harsh discipline due to race and sometimes both race/disabilities.

I categorically reject that "many parents" would only be outraged for white Sped kids and not "understand or feel any affinity to black parents" whose children are receiving the same discipline.

Sped parents (and many others) have stood up time and again for all kids. We as parents are not the problem; the problem is the system, the lack of training for alternative methods of discipline and support and cultural competency.
I should have put quotes around that first paragraph. They are the words of the comment above it.
Charlie Mas said…
I'm not sure I understand the fourth paragraph from empowered culture. It seems to be saying that it is despicable that some family members only take action in response to disproportionate discipline when White children are the victim and fail to do the same when Black children are the victim. This is clearly an accusation of wrongdoing. Then it says that "we" (the royal we, I presume) are unapologetically focused exclusively on the disproportionate discipline applied to Black children. There doesn't seem to be any recognition that this is exactly analogous to the action regarded as despicable in others.

What am I missing? Surely any race-based criteria for caring is wrong. Isn't it? Surely it is natural for people to be more concerned for others whom they know personally or with whom they can identify. Is that wrong and bad in others but right and worthy in ourselves?

I must be misunderstanding, but I can't see how. Help, please.
Anonymous said…
Empowered Culture is mistaken. When do we see outrage for ANY students with disabilities inappropriately discipline, of any stripe? ??? The absolute highest correlation with suspension / exclusion / restraint is with the presence of disabilities. SEAACs role is to advise the superintendent on disability issues. And so it did that. Students identified with disabilities are overwhelmingly disproportionately minority. Sorry but rates for students with disabilities trumps all other groups. Yet, that is NEVER mentioned nor investigated. Where are the feds when they investigate disciplinary disproportionately for minorities ? They don't mention disability AT ALL. When questioned, they simply note that IDEA covers it. Well??? Nobody follows the law! Which is actually the root problem for everyone. We can only hope that whatever remedies the feds implement for improving proportionality for minority disciplinary practice, benefits all students. We also hope that improvement in school climate and flexibility will be improvements for everyone. BTW. Restraint and seclusion, are practices reserved ONLY for students with disabilities. Yes, right here in Seattle. Those are really great at developing an empowered culture!

mirmac1 said…

Know that, in any discussion at the Special Education Advisory and Advocacy Council, the matter of disproportionate discipline does not arise without maximal recognition that the vast majority are African-American students who are over-identified as suffering "emotional/behavioral disorder" (someone else's name for this). Same applies for Native-American students. Our outrage makes up for the lack of many others. We are in rectifying this civirl rights violation together.

SpEd parents will be manning a table at the symposium. Maybe we'll see you there...? : )

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