Dear Parents, Friends, Supporters, and Youth,
We are very excited by the new things happening at FFLIC this New Year. As our families continue to have a strong voice in their lives, their children and in the community; FFLIC continues to thrive as an organization. We would like to thank each of you for your continued support and because of your love, donations and belief in our parents and children we have moved into a new office space, updated our website, have our work highlighted and continue to hold systems accountable. The fight for justice reform is long and there are many setbacks. However, in the words of Martin Luther King Jr, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” We believe that here at FFLIC, as anyone who does social justice work must believe and hope for a better future.
Don't miss FFLIC's annual membership meeting on Jan 31st from 10am-4pm. RSVP on Facebook today!
FFLIC is excited to have a little office space at the exciting newly renovated Myrtle Banks Building which once housed McDonogh 38, lastly Myrtle Banks School until it was closed in 2002. FFLIC will share the 3rd floor offices with nonprofits, businesses and individuals including art installations and exhibits in the beautiful hallway. The building will also feature Jack and Jakes Public Market on the first floor and many other wonderful amenities. Find out more about the building here. http://www.myrtlebanks.com/
Please find us by appointment only and send all mail to our new address at 1307 Oretha C. Haley Blvd., Suite 303, New Orleans, LA 70113
FFLIC HAS A NEW WEBSITE:
Check out our new website!!
We have a new website. Thanks to our continued work with the Community Media Organizing Project, FFLIC received a pass through grant that allowed us to showcase our work on a more professional and easy to navigate site. It is a work in progress but it is ready for your viewing. Please take a moment to browse and while there, please consider becoming a member of FFLIC or if you need to renew your membership, please click here to do so now!
Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children (FFLIC), has been fighting for years to bring this issue of harsh discipline policies that lead to many children, mostly African American being pushed out of school. We have long pushed the Governor to protect our children, BESE to report their findings, follow federal guidelines, eliminate mandatory suspensions and expulsions, and remove the language of “willful disobedience” from the law. Last year, due to FFLIC’s successful education of policymakers there was a successful passage of SCR 134 which requested BESE to study and report to the legislature regarding current student discipline policies and possible changes to these policies. With this newly released data and REPORT showing that over 61,000 children were suspended during the 2013 - 2014 school year with 8,000 of those suspensions attributed to "willful disobedience" we hope the Governor will see the immediate need to protect children from this harmful and subjective punishment. Please continue to follow and support FFLIC in our endeavor to end suspensions for willful defiance in the state of Louisiana.
Recently, our families had a sit down with Soledad O'Brien, click the video to watch.
Click here to read the article.
FFLIC could not continue to support our families if not for the continued support from individuals and foundations. We continue to seek out new foundations to ensure the stability of our organization. We would like to thank all of our funders that continue to support FFLIC. New funders that have been added for 2015 are in bold.
A host of individual donors
Advancement Project Collaborative
Catholic Campaign for Human Development
Charles T. Beaird Family Foundation
Criminal Justice Initiative, a project of the Solidago Foundation
Greater New Orleans Foundation
Kerry Lobel and Marta Drury, girls just wanna have funD, a donor advised fund of Horizons Foundation
Marguerite Casey Foundation
Southern Poverty Law Center
Southern Partners Fund
The Progressive Technology Project
The Schott Foundation for Public Education
The National Dignity in Schools Campaign
Unitarian Universalist – Just Society Fund
Youth Justice Funding Collaborative
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
PEOPLE'S DATA CAMPAIGN!!!! Click here to complete survey!!
In Louisiana, children are being suspended, expelled and pushed out of school which has a direct relationship with children ending up in prison. In 2003 Louisiana passed sweeping reform (Act 1225) that closed our Country’s most notorious juvenile prison and set in motion other reforms that if implemented fully and with fidelity would halt the school to prison pipeline. School should provide a safe and nurturing environment for children and out-of-school suspensions and expulsions cut classroom time for those who need it most. During the 2013 – 2014 school year Louisiana doled out over 61,000 out of school suspensions with 13,535 of those suspensions being for "willful disobedience". 8,000 of the willful disobedience suspensions were issued to grades Pre-K to 5. FFLIC believes children make mistakes, and those mistakes are an important part of a child's growth and development and should be met with services and treatment, not zero tolerance. The draconian policies doled out by our state rob our children of their childhood and set the stage for possible future offenses that leave our children with no other recourse but incarceration. We are hearing disturbing trends of children who are being placed on probation. Probation is described as something like “zero tolerance” where, among other things, children can be recommended for expulsion simply for skipping class which clearly violates Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS) which is a state mandate. PBIS if used correctly is designed to keep children from being suspended or expelled. Another trend we are hearing is that children/families are being forced to withdraw their children or risk facing expulsion on their permanent records. The families we have spoken to are feeling frustrated at an education system that holds their children to a zero tolerance policy while the school system has no accountability.
FFLIC is embarking upon a “People’s Data Campaign” in order to get a more accurate account of how the lack of proper implementation affects our youth, family and communities. The “People’s Data Campaign” is designed to deploy families, youth, and other concerned community to conduct surveys and outreach in communities by door knocking, walking the street, setting up tables at malls and department stores, near schools, develop PSA’s and whereever we can find families and youth willing to tell their story. We invite every person and organization to join this opportunity to have your voice heard and your story told. We aim to collect surveys and petitions across Louisiana to tell our legislators to: In Honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, “Keep the Dream Alive: End the School to Prison Pipeline” and call for Accountability for Juvenile Justice Reform.
Click here to complete survey!!!