Beginning Fall 2018, we will be expanding the scope of our work to focus on campaign work to more effectively shift power in Charleston and across the state of South Carolina. The young people involved with our Youth Action Alliance and Youth Leader Institute worked together to discuss the issues felt urgent and important for our organization to address. Our youth leaders felt most invested in removing police officers from school and establishing a holistic sex educational curriculum designed by young people. We’re excited to launch our first youth-led campaigns: Safer Schools without SROs and Sex Education Beyond Abstinence.
We are an alliance of unstoppable girls, trans youth, and gender nonconforming youth who believe another world is possible.
We believe schools are safer without SROs. We refuse to normalize the presence of police officers in schools. We believe students should feel safe, supported, and cared for rather than fearful of harassment or arrest. We reject the use of punitive practices that funnel students into the school to prison pipeline and reinforce the existence and expansion of the prison system.
We demand the removal of all SROs in Charleston County schools and in every public school across South Carolina. We demand each school release all information related to school-based arrests and SRO involvement in matters of student discipline. We demand all SRO-related funding should be redirected to hire compassionate social workers and counselors who have been extensively trained in restorative practices, trauma-informed care, and anti-oppressive youth work.
We believe sex education should go way beyond the abstinence-only curriculum we have been provided. We reject South Carolina’s so-called Comprehensive Health Education Program that shamefully requires queer and trans identities to only be discussed in the context of sexually transmitted diseases, refuses to discuss sex outside of marriage, prohibits the distribution of contraceptives on school grounds, and outlaws any discussion of abortion. We believe our sex education should disrupt the dominant narratives that claim sex is inappropriate to discuss, is something to fear, or is something to be ashamed of.
We demand to receive sex education courses that are engaging that affirm queer and trans identities, and discuss consent, healthy relationships, anatomy, barriers and contraception, body positivity, sustainable hygiene products, pleasure, and abortion. We demand that girls, trans youth, and gender nonconforming youth from across the state are integral to the designing and developing of this more radical and holistic curriculum. We demand to be taught by a qualified sex educator who believes in reproductive justice and is willing to facilitate conversations related to sexual trauma, the violent history of gynecology, and forced sterilization in the South.
Join the Work
Let us know how you would like to be involved in the work. Send us an email and we will connect you to the campaign work and meetings.