[act-ma] Media Advisory: Panel Discussion to Explore Links Between School Discipline, Criminal Justice System

Christopher Ott cott at aclum.org
Mon May 19 13:04:13 PDT 2008

Panel Discussion to Explore Links Between School Discipline, Criminal
Justice System

Event scheduled for Tuesday, May 20, 6 p.m. at Boston Public Library will
also examine racial disparities

May 19, 2008

CONTACT:  Christopher Ott, Communications Manager, 617-482-3170 x322,
cott at aclum.org

BOSTON -- Tuesday, the ACLU of Massachusetts and other groups will hold a
panel discussion on the relationship between school discipline and the
criminal justice system.

WHAT:  Panel discussion on school discipline, criminal justice, and racial

WHERE: Boston Public Library, Mezzanine Conference Room

WHEN:  Tuesday, May 20, 2008, 6 p.m.

The relationship between school discipline and the criminal justice system
is increasingly fraught with racial tension.  Today, misbehavior that would
traditionally have been addressed at the school level often results in
police involvement, and students of color are disproportionately impacted.

On Tuesday, expert panelists will explore the contemporary legal and social
ramifications of these issues and discuss ways to document and address the
problems.  The event is sponsored by the Boston Lawyers Chapter of the
American Constitution Society, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the
American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, with support from the
Juvenile Justice Center at Suffolk University School of Law and the Boston
Bar association.


Dennis Parker, ACLU Director of the ACLU National Office¹s Racial Justice
Program (RJP)
Concentrating on issues of the school-to-prison pipeline which funnels
children of color from the educational system into the criminal justice
system, racial profiling, affirmative action, indigent representation and
felon enfranchisement, the RJP seeks to remove barriers to equal opportunity
for communities of color through litigation, public education, community
organizing and legislation.  Prior to joining the ACLU, Mr. Parker was the
Chief of the Civil Rights Bureau of the Office of the New York State
Attorney. Mr. Parker also worked for 14 years at the NAACP Legal Defense and
Educational Fund, where he litigated and supervised the litigation of scores
of cases involving elementary and secondary education, affirmative action in
higher education and equal educational opportunity.

Hon. Jay D. Blitzman, Justice of the Massachusetts Juvenile Court, Middlesex
Judge Blitzman was appointed to the juvenile court bench in 1996.  Prior to
his appointment, Judge Blitzman was a founder and the first director of the
Youth Advocacy Project, a community-based inter-disciplinary legal services
organization based in Roxbury, Mass.  He is a frequent presenter at
Continuing Legal Education programs and a familiar presence on noted law
school faculties.  Judge Blitzman has been appointed to, chaired, and/or
served on many committees for the Supreme Judicial Court and the
Massachusetts and Boston Bar Associations focused on criminal procedure,
judicial ethics, juvenile justice, the unmet needs of children, and access
to justice.

Daniel J. Losen, (J.D., M.Ed.), Senior Education Law and Policy Associate at
the The Civil Rights Project (CRP) at UCLA
Mr. Losen is a Senior Education Law and Policy Associate at the The Civil
Rights Project (CRP) at UCLA (formerly at Harvard Law School) where he also
has been a lecturer on law. He frequently serves as an independent
consultant on education and racial justice issues for civil rights advocates
as well as for state and district education agencies. His work concerns the
impact of federal, state and local education law and policy on students of
color. Before becoming a lawyer, Mr. Losen taught in public schools for 10
years, including work as a school founder of an alternative public school.

Moderator: Wendy Kaplan, Clinical Associate Professor of Law, Boston
University Law School
Ms. Kaplan¹s primary clinical work involves education, training and case
supervision of third-year law students representing defendants in criminal
and delinquency trials.  She also teaches a seminar on juvenile delinquency
that explores the historical and legal foundations of our juvenile justice
system, and investigates policy changes regarding the treatment of
delinquent children.  She is a member of the Board of Directors of the
Suffolk Lawyers for Justice, a non-profit that provides legal services to
indigent criminal defendants.  She also serves on the Board of Directors of
Children¹s Legal Services, Inc. and is a member of the Disproportionate
Minority Contact Subcommittee of the state's Juvenile Justice Advisory



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