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VOICE-Buffalo TRUTH COMMISSION

Thursday, May 2nd 6:00pm-8:00pm

East High School

820 Northhampton St.

 

“We don’t heal in isolation, but in community.” – S. Kelley Harrell

 

What is a Truth Commission?

A Truth Commission is an official, non-judicial forum established to examine the facts, history, and implications of past and present human rights violations against a community.

What will happen at the Truth Commission on May 2nd?

VOICE-Buffalo’s Criminal Justice Task Force will be focusing on school suspensions and Buffalo Public Schools.

School suspensions do not address the underlying problems that lead to bad behavior and actually intensify those problems. While African Americans make up 47% of student enrollment, they make up 69% of the suspensions. Short-term suspensions have been over 8,000 per year for the last 5 years; they exceeded 10,000 in recent years. Long-term suspensions have exceeded 2,000 per year in recent years.

An alternative to school suspensions is Restorative Practices. The School Board has adopted Restorative Practices in the Buffalo Schools Code of Conduct. However, despite the implementation of the Code of Conduct, our schools continue to condition our children for incarceration, and restorative practices are not used as an alternative to suspension for nonviolent offenses. We must stand as a community to address the actual problems that prohibit our kids from learning.

School Board Elections are taking place May 7th. Any registered voter living in the City of Buffalo can vote in this election, yet historically this election has a voter turnout of 4%. Such a low turnout for such a critical election is appalling, and speaks to how we’ve reached such devastating numbers and policies in our schools.

What do we want to happen as a result of the Truth Commission?

The goal of the Truth Commission is to develop an understanding of how candidates envision improving conditions within Buffalo Public Schools. With the upcoming School Board Elections taking place on May 7th, 2019, it is crucial for the community to participate in this election and put the vote behind supportive people and policies in our schools. We must stand together to address the actual problems that prohibit kids from learning.

A City that invests in its children, invests in its own progress! Are you in?

For more information on the Truth Commission, please contact whitney@voicebuffalo.org.