Board of Ed Commissioners Haney and Walton introduce SFUSD Policy to increase support for students with incarcerated Parents.
Congratulations to Matt Haney and Shamann Walton who were unanimously elected Tuesday evening by their fellow Commissioners on the Board of Education to serve as the new Board President and Vice President! We look forward to continued collaboration with President Haney and Vice President Walton on efforts to advance equity in SFUSD.
Also at Tuesday's Board of Ed meeting, Commissioners Haney and Walton introduced a new SFUSD Policy to increase support for students with incarcerated parents.
It’s estimated that nationwide, one in 9 black children has an incarcerated parent, while the same is true for one in 28 Latino children and one in 57 white children, according to the resolution.
Studies have shown children with incarcerated parents often suffer from trauma, anxiety, shame, guilt, depression, withdrawal and low self-esteem. They also can see a decline in school performance, and are more prone to using drugs or alcohol and have difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
“Parental incarceration is one the most severe forms of trauma a child can go through, with major social, emotional and academic consequences,” Comissioner Haney wrote in an email to the San Francisco Examiner. “Our schools can better understand the experiences of students with incarcerated parents, and work harder, smarter and more compassionately to meet their needs.”
Commissioner Walton said there are an estimated several thousand children within The City’s public schools with incarcerated parents, some of whom helped Walton and Haney write the resolution.
This school year, there is just one SFUSD-based program specifically for students with incarcerated parents. The ROOTS theater program at the Academy of Arts and Sciences High School is in its second year at the site.
Per the resolution, the district will help students communicate with their incarcerated parents when appropriate, and assign a staff liaison to work with the parent education and case management program in the San Francisco County Jail. The resolution also calls for the district to work with community organizations to create curriculum related to children with incarcerated parents as well as the broader impacts of incarceration.
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