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June, 2021

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The question of whether police belong in schools has been a long-debated topic in the United States. With the increased focus on policing generally, the debate has grown more intense. Proponents argue that police can more effectively address student-to-student conflict, such as bullying, and increase overall safety in an age of recurring school shootings. Those who oppose argue that police in schools contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline and result in disparities based on race and/or disability in discipline and arrests, as well as a climate of fear for students of color. Speakers on this program will present the data, discuss the impact of police in schools and examine this issue critically to confront the question of whether police in schools result in enhanced student safety.

- Miriam A. Rollin – Attorney and Director, Education Civil Rights Alliance, National Center for Youth Law
- Ky’Eisha W. Penn – Staff Attorney, Advancement Project
- Randi Weingarten – President, American Federation of Teachers
- Maryam Salmanova – Paralegal, IntegrateNYC Peer Defense Program
- Ashley C. Sawyer (Moderator) – Senior Director of Campaigns, Girls for Gender Equity
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Incorporating the realities of race and the impact of racial injustice at every stage of a client’s case is a critical component in providing holistic, effective, client-centered legal advocacy to Black and brown youth. Defenders and advocates contribute to systemic reform when they challenge racial injustice in their legal advocacy on behalf of individual clients. Fourth Amendment jurisprudence is ripe for these types of arguments. This session will encourage participants to shift the reasonable-person standard that underpins current Fourth Amendment jurisprudence to one that focuses on the actions of the “reasonable Black child.” Incorporating knowledge of implicit racial bias, adolescent development, and the relationship between Black and brown youth and the police, this session will help participants identify strategies to raise issues of race and adolescence in Fourth Amendment practice. Trainers will urge participants to consider the commonsense judgments and inferences that flow readily from the unique interplay between race and adolescence in a police-youth encounter. Participants will discuss: How race and adolescence affect every critical question in the Fourth Amendment analysis; The extent to which a child’s race affects the court’s objective inquiry about whether a police-youth encounter ventures from a “contact” into a seizure; The extent that a child’s race affects the voluntariness of consent; The extent that a child’s race affects the officers’ interpretation of a child’s behavior; and The importance of raising our client’s narrative and experience in courtroom advocacy to empower our clients and effect change in Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. This training is available to all juvenile defense professionals, including juvenile defenders, policy advocates, investigators, social workers, mitigation specialists, paralegals, clerks, legal secretaries, and other staff members in support of this work.
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Tori Franklin (USA Track & Field) and Zach Banner (Offensive Tackle, Pittsburgh Steelers), will be hosting a virtual discussion for players, coaches, leagues, owners, teams and strategic partners to connect with and learn from experts and organizations directly serving justice impacted youth to lift up the critical importance of young people’s rights, while also highlighting Players Coalition’s youth justice framework and speaking to the challenges and needs of youth. NJDC Deputy Director Ebony Howard and other youth advocates will discuss the critical importance of youth rights.