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Mocha Moms, Inc. Calls for Cease in Over-Criminalization of Our Children

For Immediate Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
               
CONTACT: Danae Jones Aicher
National Director of Communications        
Mocha Moms, Inc.
(804) 433-0071
daicher@mochamoms.org   
www.mochamoms.org
                                

Mocha Moms, Inc. Calls for Change to South Carolina Legislation that Criminalizes Poor Behavior In Schools

Enough. Stop strong arming our children! The recent videos of a white South Carolina sheriff's deputy violently throwing around an African American high school student are appalling to almost everyone, but they are infuriating to the millions of mothers across the country who strongly believe that our black and brown children are under attack by police and local authorities. We understand that this latest video from a Columbia, SC school is as much about the disproportionate discipline of our children in our nation's schools as it is about the persistent over-criminalization of our children. Whether it's Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, a bikini-clad teenager in Texas or a 16-year old girl who won't hand her cell phone to her math teacher, one thing is clear: black and brown children are too often vulnerable to force that does not fit the infraction.  It's excessive and it's unacceptable! 
 
Mocha Moms, Inc., the premiere voice for mothers of color, stands with Congressman James Clyburn in calling for a change to the Disturbing Schools Law for South Carolina, legislation that criminalizes "obnoxious" behavior in school classrooms. We also applaud Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott for taking swift and decisive action in terminating Deputy Ben Fields. In addition, as a national organization representing mothers of color, we demand:

1. A re-evaluation of the role of School Resource Officers in our schools.

2. Clear protocols for when an SRO is called in to deal with a disciplinary issue.

3. That County Sheriffs and Police Chiefs hold accountable every police officer who fails to follow appropriate training protocol, just as Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott did in SC.

4. That law enforcement leaders join us in addressing the dysfunctional relationship between our communities and those who are charged to protect and serve us.

As mothers, we need this to be a teachable moment for all of us. We know how important it is that we keep this dialogue open between us and our children, us and our teachers, us and our school administrators and School Board, as well as us and law enforcement. 

Mocha Moms, Inc. is the premiere voice for mothers of color. Mocha Moms, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender or socio-economic level, education, or religion. Anyone who supports the mission and purpose of Mocha Moms, Inc. is welcome to join.
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