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PHI’s Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG) helped a group of committed young people from Fresno become more effective spokespeople for reducing school dropout rates, an issue the youth had worked on for years. The group wanted to change the local school district’s harsh discipline policies, which drove up suspensions and expulsions and eroded trust. BMSG taught the young advocates how to effectively frame and develop messages for their issue in advance of a hearing before the Fresno Unified School District.

After the young people testified, the district approved an alternative approach to discipline, promising to dedicate a portion of its budget to reiterative justice programs that replace punitive measures with conflict resolution and, ultimately, help keep kids in school.

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