Alternatives works to center the voices of the young people often overlooked in our community. Alternatives cannot in good faith provide direct services to young people without also working to change the system that has dictated their need for that service already. This is why we build civic participation and youth leadership so that our young people can identify and advocate on behalf of critical issues that impact them. The critical issues Alternatives addresses includes police-free schools, affordable housing, mental health justice, violence prevention, and health care.
Safety does not exist when Black and Brown young people are forced to interact with a system of policing that views them as a threat and not as students. For many Black and Brown youth, the presence of police in their schools disrupts their learning environments. There is a culture clash that exists between law enforcement and the learning environment: police enforce criminal laws, while schools are supposed to nurture students. This moment calls on us to take action and question why police are in schools at all and conclude that police are incongruent with the educational environment we envision.
A fair tax system is a key part of getting our state’s priorities straight. Coupled with steps to cut waste, reduce mismanagement and ensure a more accountable government, it will allow us to protect priorities like education, public safety, and health care.
At Some CPS Schools, Conversations And Peace Circles Will Replace Traditional Punishment