A community play called ZERO tips Sacramento, CA, into tackling school suspensions


(l to r) Crandal Rankins, Alise Guilford, Sophia Hicks, Roman Allen, Steven Daugherty, Spenser Bradley, Bahni Turpin


TRACY (student) – I was suspended for “willful defiance”.
MARTHA (James’ mother)- “Willful Defiance.” Isn’t that what you had last time?
JAMES — Uh huh.
MARTHA — What’s that mean?
JAMES — Everything.
TRACY — Anything.
    —  (ZERO, Act One, by Julie Marie Myatt)

Last August, Darryl White, president of the Black Parallel School Board walked onto the stage of Sacramento’s Guild Theater after Act One of ZERO, a play that’s part of the program, Talk It Out: A Community Conversation to Fix School Discipline.

Turning to the standing-room-only crowd, he asked: “How many people know someone who’s been suspended from school?”

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