On January 9 the Metropolitan Congregations United (MCU) hosted an action meeting titled "Our Children are Not Felons." I attended the event in the hopes of learning more about the change in Missouri law that allows students to be tried as felons for fighting in school. According to Fox2Now, starting this year, "3rd and 4th-degree assaults will be reclassified from misdemeanors to felonies. Under the measure, students who are caught fighting on school grounds or on a bus, and it is witnessed by a school resource officer or police; could be charged with a felony." While the MCU believes that this will affect all children, it appears that the law will, once again, disproportionately affect minority children and those in poor communities.
The MCU hosted this event as a call to action for parents, superintendents, and community members so that schools would create memorandums of understanding. They created a list of key nonnegotiable's so that those who wish to advocate for our children have a common starting place. A big part of this meeting was to get contact information from people who are willing to commit to advocating for students and make sure that our schools are doing right by them.
We at the Urban Mission Center believe that our children are the most valuable assets that we have in the city. All kids should be given the opportunity to succeed, no matter where they come from. Reverand Karen Anderson, president of the MCU, brought up the point that we expect more from her kids and we do from adults. She is correct, we have to give kids the chance to live their lives without the fear that they will be jailed for any mistake or outburst that they may have.
Rev. Anderson tells a tribe with the customary greeting is “How are the children?” The traditional answer is “All the children well.” Well, none of us can honestly answer that all of our children are well. Will you stand with us as we work towards that answer? Will you aid in the works that will allow our next generation to have a real chance at life? If the answer is yes, please follow the MCU's work on their Facebook page to join them
Also remember to check out our event in March about Justice for Youth by clicking here.