Sample Colleague Letter
Subject: Urgent Action Needed: Addressing the School-to-Prison Pipeline
Dear [Colleague's Name],
I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to urge your support for crucial legislation aimed at helping the students of our great state by addressing the school-to-prison pipeline. As you may be aware, this pipeline disproportionately affects students from marginalized communities, many in our respective constituencies, and exacerbates problems in our education and criminal justice systems.
The statistics are alarming: [Include relevant statistics from the list provided or information from the toolkit's overview]. Immediate action is needed to break this cycle and ensure that the students in [State Name] have access to quality education and supportive environments.
As [your role or title], I am committed to championing evidence-based solutions that promote positive outcomes for our youth. The good news? The American Bar Association (ABA) has conducted extensive research and analysis, culminating in a comprehensive report detailing legislative recommendations to reverse the school-to-prison pipeline. These recommendations, which I have summarized below, present concrete steps towards a better education system:
- Zero-Tolerance Policies and Due Process: Implementing uniform standards for suspension and expulsion, focusing on alternatives to school exclusion, and providing due process before separation.
- Defining the Scope of Relationships with School Resource Officers (SROs): Establishing clear guidelines for SRO interactions with students and defining their roles, responsibilities, and boundaries.
- Bullying: Addressing bullying through comprehensive, age-appropriate interventions and recognizing the impact of bullying on marginalized student groups.
- Age-Appropriate and Alternative Forms of Discipline, Including Restorative Practices: Utilizing developmentally appropriate strategies, fostering a culture of reconciliation, and ensuring appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities.
- Appropriate Training, Including Implicit Bias Training and Data Collection: Providing ongoing training for school personnel to promote non-punitive and constructive approaches, including de-escalation tactics and addressing implicit biases.
I strongly believe that by supporting these legislative proposals, we can work together to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline and promote a safe, nurturing, and inclusive learning environment for all students in [State Name].
In addition to supporting these initiatives, I invite you to join me in advocating for these recommendations in our respective caucuses and committees. Let's build a bipartisan coalition that can drive real change for our students and communities.
If you would like to know more about how we can help students in [State Name], you can access a toolkit that provides further details on the legislative recommendations and resources created by the American Bar Associating here: ambar.org/stppipeline. Together, we can make a difference and ensure that all [State Name] students can thrive in their education and their future endeavors.
I encourage you to stand with us in this critical fight for justice and equality in our education system. If you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office. Thank you for your attention to this matter, and I look forward to working together to make a positive impact on the lives of our nation's students.
[Your Title or Role]