Amidst generations of racialized police brutality toward young Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color, SEJ is urgently working to protect the young people of New Haven Public Schools (NHPS) through the SOS campaign.
In light of the New Haven Board of Education’s decision to maintain the SRO system in NHPS, SEJ continues to imagine and fight for police-free schools in New Haven.
Reinvest in Wellness
The SOS campaign aims to push NHPS to end its contract with the New Haven Police Department and re-invest NHPS resources into institutionalized mental health support such as social workers, therapists of color, and restorative justice trainers and practitioners.
For Young People
How does the presence of SROs and security guards in NHPS impact you? Complete our survey asking student opinion about the presence of SROs and security guards in NHPS! Your opinion directly informs our demands and actions.Take the Survey
Learn more about the SOS campaign by joining an SEJ weekly youth-led, youth-facilitated, member meeting on Thursdays at 4pm. Member meetings will resume after summer break on September 9, 2021 and remain virtual for COVID safety. As weather and COVID safety permits, we may host meetings outdoors and in-person with food and drinks.
Our member meetings center political education and discussion to engage members on pressing current events and content not brought up in schools.Learn More
SOS Campaign Teams are all youth-led and focus on research, base-building and community outreach, and organizing and excuting direct actions to spread awareness and demand from stakeholders and powerful people in New Haven.
To join a team, come to one of our weekly member meetings and ask about our campaign teams. If you can’t make it to a member meeting, contact our Lead Organizer with your information.Contact Us
The SOS research team focuses on information-gathering to inform the campaign. The research team wrote, created, and currently distributes the SOS survey across NHPS. This team researches and compiles history, data, and news about the police-presence in New Haven schools, and pays special attention to the intersections between police, race, gender, and class. The research team enables SOS to be better informed and able to truthfully talk about racism, sexism, and classism in our campaign. Moving forward, the research team is also working on creating distributable fact sheets and argumentative sheets to be able to spread awareness and accurate information about the harms of police in schools.
The SOS outreach team focuses on base-building and community outreach. The outreach team conducts virtual and in-person classroom visits in NHPS schools to speak about SEJ and our campaign, and to recruit new members and organizers. These organizers are specifically trained to engage new students during classroom presentations and visits, and we are continuously learning how to improve our content. This team also meets with school and district administrators to inform them about our work and growing presence, and to envision a power shift in which students—not just teachers and principals—decide what schools look like in New Haven. In addition, the outreach team builds relationships with other organizations in New Haven whose work aligns with ours and centers young people, in order to collaborate on events, projects, and youth recruitment. The outreach team specializes in conducting one-on-one’s to build trusting relationships and power.
The SOS tactics team focuses on organizing and executing direct actions to spread awareness and demand change from stakeholders and powerful people in New Haven. Originally the models team, these members used to contact other organizations from around the country who are currently working on or have succeeded in removing police from schools, and invited guest organizers to join our weekly member meetings to talk about their campaign, what worked and didn’t work, and their tips for winning. Since learning from organizations from Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota, the models team compiled the guidance from other organizers and has transitioned into a tactics team. As the tactics team, members plan rallies, protests, sit-ins, letter-writing to representatives, video content, podcast content, and speak at New Haven Board of Education meetings, and more in order to vocalize our demands and the urgency of the campaign.
Contact the Lead Organizer to schedule a virtual or in-person classroom visit in your class or school club. Classroom visits can be thirty minutes to an hour in which 1-2 SEJ members will present SEJ’s work, the campaign, and how to get involved. Classroom visitors from the outreach team are trained to engage young people from all backgrounds and experiences in our presentation and campaign, and we are always open to student and teacher feedback on how to improve our content. New Haven teachers and schools are prioritized in our visits, but we have conducted many visits to schools, clubs, and libraries outside of New Haven because we strongly believe that you don’t have to be in New Haven to care about New Haven. Our presentation, work, and values can always be translated and imported to other schools, cities, and issues, and we hope that our work inspires young people everywhere to stand up for change.
Collab with Us
If you are not a school teacher but you work with young people in other capacities, SEJ is always open to visiting and speaking to young people about SEJ. In addition, we are open to collaborations with youth-centered organizations to base-build and community-build.
Spread the Word
Identify young people you work with or know who would be a great fit for the SOS campaign! Direct them to our website and social media, and encourage them to use their voice to fight for change. Students from all backgrounds and schools are welcome.
Share organizing or political education resources or events with us! We are always looking to send staff and members to events on behalf of SEJ to learn more about our communities and outside work. We are always seeking outside tools to better inform our campaign and organization.
More about SEJ
Students for Educational Justice (SEJ) is a youth-led, intergenerational organizing body that drives efforts for racial and educational justice. Student members lead our work and are the heart of SEJ.
We envision a just education system and an equitable society in which all people understand the history of race in the United States, and are actively committed to dismantling systemic racism and other forms of oppression.
We seek to transform educational systems that perpetuate anti-Blackness as well as institutionalized, interpersonal, and internalized racism.Donate and Support Our Work