The Sacramento City Unified School District heard comments recently regarding the renewal of a school resource officer (or SRO) contract with the Sacramento Police Department. This discussion has been taking place for years with many community members advocating for the termination of the contract completely.
While the fight has been long, the community clearly demanded an end to the contract, causing the board to hear comments well into the night. Local activist, Alejandro Fisher explained “By cutting the $600,000 dollar contract with the Sacramento police department and reinvest that money in an alternative safety plan that helps grow students not punish them.”
The calls to action for the district were launched not just by concerned students and their families but also local advocacy groups. Fisher continued, “A coalition of various organizations like Brown Issues, SCTA, Sacramento Act, Black Parallel School board, Hmong innovating politics, and others have been working together and organizing the community to push the School board to invest in youth and not criminalize them.”
After hours of hearing public comments and observing the pushback from the community, the district finally heard the demands of their constituents. Fisher continued, that the district ”…under the pressure of the community and coalition, finally decided to cut that $600,000 contract and is planning
on creating a group of teachers, students, and community organizations to develop the alternative safety plan.”
This is one of many recent victories that reflect the huge amounts of political power young people wield. Social media and the internet are revolutionizing justice work. There are many ways for young people to get involved. Alejandro continued, “The best way to get involved in the movement for justice is to do your part with whatever influence and power you have. Meaning have a difficult conversation with a friend or family member, sign a petition, or share information on what’s going on with these social issues.”
There are plenty of organizations in the area already doing the work. Getting involved in advocacy is extremely important and becoming more accessible. Fisher concluded, “If you feel the need to get even more involved don’t be afraid to reach out to the community and advocacy organizations, they want to help you find justice and fix social issues. Yes it can feel uncomfortable at first trying to get involved but once you get that first taste of justice, trust me, it is worth it!”