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In Solidarity with the Black Community

June 4, 2020

New York, NY, June 4, 2020—We condemn the indefensible and brutal killing of George Floyd and every other black person who has been murdered based on the color of their skin and the culture and acts of white supremacy. We stand in solidarity with the fight against racism and structural inequity. We know firsthand, through our direct work with families and young people with disabilities, how institutional racism is embedded in our society at large, and within the structure of our city’s school system, their policies, and practices.

Over 150,000 students with disabilities in our city are students of color. Black students, especially black boys, are disproportionately over classified by schools as having disabilities. Seventy-five percent of all students classified with emotional disturbance in New York City are young black males. We see how school discipline policies and suspensions further perpetuate the criminalization of black students and the unjust school-to-prison pipeline. We also see how policies reinforce academic and social segregation in our schools. 

We believe all students, including students with disabilities, should have equal access to a quality education and the basic human right of safety no matter their race, ethnicity, disability, or zip code. And we will continue advocating for this with you. Racial justice is disability justice.