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Godmother of tasered CPS student discusses student discipline

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I went to a training session hosted by POWER-PAC (Parents Organized to Win, Educate and Renew-Policy Action Council) on Tuesday night to observe parents learn how they could apply restorative justice practices in their community schools on the West side.‚ Restorative justice is the idea of finding alternative solutions for students’ misbehavior rather than giving suspensions. Parents divided into smaller groups and brainstormed their vision how they wanted to see restorative justice used in their schools. Parents told of experiences of being ignored by school administrators, teachers calling students “lazy” and children being suspended so much in kindergarten a guardian lost count.‚ As I recorded video during this break-out session, one parents story about an after-school confrontation with police.‚ Brenda Wells, center, got my attention when she talked about how the police tasered her goddaughter, Keaira Matthews, after school on Monday. Wells says there are a lot of problems in the North Lawndale community schools with how students are disciplined. After the meeting, I went to speak with Jennifer Matthews, Keaira’s mother, about the incident. She showed me a video of Keaira, taken by her best friend, being restrained by police. Matthews alleged that police destroyed another students’ phone, which captured the entire event. Matthews says on Tuesday she asked Michele Clark Academy school administration why they did not intervene and discovered students are afraid to talk about prior incidents at the school involving the police and security. [audio:/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//Matthews-cut-blog-.mp3|titles=Matthews cut blog]

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