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Our Healing in Our Hands: Support SFUSD students driving solutions for wellness, healing, and growth

As young people, there is a lot for us to navigate -- we struggle with academics at school, with family issues at home, and with conflicts with our friends. In this political moment, we are also faced with attacks on immigrants, working families, and people of color, and these attacks are affecting young people like us everyday.

As students of color, low-income youth, and gender non-conforming and questioning youth, we are disproportionately affected by the issues which contribute to poor mental health. In our work to survey the experiences of our peers in SFUSD, we found that Arab American/Middle Eastern youth are bullied by their  peers and teachers, Black and Latinx youth are criminalized for their trauma instead of being referred to wellness centers, and Asian American youth’s mental health needs are also invisibilized. Due to the “Model Minority Myth,” which posits Asian Americans as introverted, docile, and high achieving, SFUSD administrators and parents do not notice our mental health needs, and we do not receive the care we need.

Our vision for Our Healing in Our Hands is to create healthy school environments where the holistic health and wellbeing of youth of color and low-income students is supported, and to create school spaces where youth and community can genuinely make empowered decisions and create solutions around their wellness and healing.

We are calling on our community to sign onto this petition to support our demands for youth-driven, youth-anchored shifts in policies and practices in our district to support collective youth mental health:

Value student voice and decision making

  • Create youth-anchored counseling and peer mindfulness programs in school

Invest in preventative and transformative wellness approach

  • Resource and fund culturally congruent mental health training for teachers, staff, students

  • Expand funding for school wellness practices, services, training, with higher focus on ELL students

  • strengthen existing restorative practice and peer resource services

Create space for collective responsibility of wellness

  • Prioritize student and school staff input in decisions wellness budgets, programming, and hiring

This is the moment for us to join forces with other youth, teachers, and parents to take a stand for the health and wellbeing of ALL young people. Let’s ask administrators to take charge in creating healthy and safe environments for ALL young people in SFUSD!

View our report here:

Join us on April 23 at the Board of Education meeting -- Our Healing in Our Hands:Say Yes to Youth-Led Wellness Solutions