We’re celebrating some major news! Our youth leaders fought for and won commitments for a restorative restart in Oakland Unified and the East Side Union High School District in San Jose!
Oakland Youth Win Mental Health, Relationships Supports & More
In Oakland, the district has committed $9 million to a mental health resolution prioritizing supports for students as they return to campus. As part of this plan, district leaders have prioritized a restorative restart for the fall so students and staff can build relationship and create a culture of community and inclusion on campus.
“This upcoming school year, freshman AND sophomores, will have had no socialization with our peers and from my experience, I have had no relationships with other students or staff this year. It will be important for our schools to create space and time for us to build community.” — Beatrice Drekmeier, CFJ youth leader at Oakland Technical High School.
Join us in giving a big CONGRATULATIONS to all the students, organizers and allies who helped to secure this win for Oakland schools!
San Jose Wins Wellness Centers, Restorative Restart & More!
Not to be outdone, our team in San Jose is celebrating their own major victories this week! CFJ youth leaders in the East Side organized and secured a commitment from ESUHSD to a 3 week restorative restart this fall. That means 3 weeks of students and staff making space to build relationships, center racial justice, equity and the needs of students and families as they return to campus.
“By lightening the course load, students’ mental health and home life would become more manageable. With having more time on the side, students could focus strictly more on learning and not rushing work.” — Litzy Paul, CFJ youth leader at James Lick High School.
The East Side Union High School District has also committed to funding two new wellness centers, with plans to expand to every school over time. This is a huge step towards building community schools in the East Side and ensuring families have support and access to key resources.
On their own, these commitments are huge wins for East Side youth organizers, but we can’t forget how we got here. Last summer, students and community led a successful campaign to remove police from their schools — ending a $700,000 contract for cops on campus. Now, we’re seeing new funding levels for counselors, mental health and other student resources. To sum it up, youth leaders organized the East Side Union High School District to divest from police on campus last summer, and now won major victories to reinvest funds to support mental health, counselors, restorative practices and other community supports.
Say it with us: Ain’t no power like the power of the youth, because the power of the youth don’t stop!
These victories in Oakland and San Jose are only the beginning. Get ready to see even more wins this summer! Next week we’ll share major celebrations from our youth-led campaigns in Fresno and Long Beach!
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