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In a Sanctuary City Like NYC, Are Our Most Vulnerable Students Safe from Harm?

We haven’t heard much about the undocumented children being detained in U.S. concentration camps on the news any more, but I haven’t forgotten about them. I hope you haven’t either. We cannot afford to forget about or neglect our children — all children. All of them have value. All of them have futures. All of… Continue reading In a Sanctuary City Like NYC, Are Our Most Vulnerable Students Safe from Harm?

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“The School To Prison Pipeline Is Very Personal To Me”: A Teacher’s Plea To Destroy It.

The phrase “school-to-prison-pipeline” is, for many, an impersonal educational buzzword like “rigor” and “standardized tests.” For others like me, it is an educational and societal mishap happening right before their eyes. Even more damaging, it is a wrathful system that’s swallowed children up and they now live with its dire consequences. These children are disproportionately … Continue reading “The School To Prison Pipeline Is Very Personal To Me”: A Teacher’s Plea To Destroy It.

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The Life-Changing Benefits of Black Teachers for Black Students

Last week I wrote a very personal post about the connections between our nation’s education and criminal justice systems. I was accused by a reader of not grounding my assertions in research, thus voiding my post’s truth or relevance. I reminded the reader that I’d written a blog post, not a research paper. However, this… Continue reading The Life-Changing Benefits of Black Teachers for Black Students

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A Personal Perspective Into The School-To-Prison Pipeline: John Is Home!

On Tuesday, October 30th, I received one of the greatest gifts of my life: After serving 19 and a half years of a 20-to-life sentence, my husband John Dukes was released from prison. Each day he’s home is a blessing. Each day he’s home also highlights the challenges that formerly incarcerated people face along their… Continue reading A Personal Perspective Into The School-To-Prison Pipeline: John Is Home!

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The Power of School Author Visits for Our Students

On June 19th, author Nora Raleigh-Baskin paid a visit to my students and me at our school to discuss her life and her book, Ruby on the Outside. If you read my blog posts regularly, you know that I am very transparent with my students and many of them know that my husband is incarcerated. Through… Continue reading The Power of School Author Visits for Our Students

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What Should Teachers Know About How Mass Incarceration Intersects With The Classroom?

Our guest today is Whitney Q. Hollins. She is a special educator in the NYC DOE, a Research Assistant at We Got Us Now and a doctoral student at C.U.N.Y. Graduate Center. Whitney and I do advocacy work together and what struck me most about her when we first met was her sharp mind. She’s… Continue reading What Should Teachers Know About How Mass Incarceration Intersects With The Classroom?

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Letters from John: My Educational Autobiography

This is a guest blog from my husband, John Dukes. You’ve read his writing before in an ongoing series here at NYST entitled “Letters from John.” Throughout the series, John speaks poignantly, passionately, and truthfully about his journey along the school-to-prison pipeline. John is currently incarcerated and is enrolled in Mercy College. He had an assignment… Continue reading Letters from John: My Educational Autobiography

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How Deeply Do You Think About Language?

“I’m having a hard time getting through this because of the language. The constant referral to incarcerated individuals as inmates speaks to the inhumane vantage point from which they are viewed by society. Imagine if we all were forever referred to by the result of our worst decision in life?” This was my response to… Continue reading How Deeply Do You Think About Language?

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After Eight Years of Teaching, I Wonder How Long I Can Keep Going

I love teaching. I’ve wanted to be a teacher since my junior year of high school. Till this day, my teachers, outside of my family and friends, have had the biggest influence on my life and my pursuit of self-actualization. I still keep in touch with many of my teachers and professors — that’s how… Continue reading After Eight Years of Teaching, I Wonder How Long I Can Keep Going