Join Us Saturday for ‘Tangle’ – A Play About School Discipline!


Join us Saturday, October 5th at the launch of Talk It Out in Long Beach for conversation and a dramatic reading of the short play Tangle, based on real-life stories about school discipline in Long Beach, and performed by community members and professional actors.

Saturday, October 5, 2013 @ 1:00 p.m.
Art Theater of Long Beach
2025 E. 4th Street, Long Beach, CA 90814

The event is free, but seating is limited so please RSVP to 1-888-802-6607 or email There will be refreshments and simultaneous translation available in Spanish and Khmer.

We look forward to seeing you in Long Beach!

Cornerstone Theater Company

P.S. Join the movement on Facebook. We’ll also be live tweeting on the day of the event at#FixSchoolDiscipline


Talk it Out: A Community Conversation to Fix School Discipline is an ongoing program, executed in cities across California, that strives to raise awareness about the use of harsh school discipline on a local and statewide scale. The overall program goal is to personalize the discussion for people on all sides of the issues and to communicate, in a positive way, the alternatives to questionable practices.

The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation that seeks to address the health consequences from the overuse of suspension, expulsion, and zero-tolerance polices, supports the program. Each local event begins with a theater performance, based on real stories from area residents, in order to start a dialogue in communities across California. Participants are given a voice to offer first-hand perspectives on their experience. Playwright Julie Marie Myatt developed the new play, Willful, based on personal accounts from this year’s Sacramento participants. This is the second year in a row that Talk it Out is engaging the Sacramento community in a dialogue on school justice. Last year’s event was held at the State Capitol on June 27, 2012.

Hundreds of thousands of California students are being expelled and suspended from school every year for non-violent misconduct. Harsh discipline is overused at alarming rates in school districts throughout the state as well as nationally. In Sacramento, where the June Talk it Out event will be staged, the situation is particularly extreme across the black student population. Journalist Phillip Reese recently reported in The Sacramento Bee that black students were suspended at disproportional rates in Sacramento County once again in 2012. According to the article (which draws on California Department of Education data), “Roughly 20 percent of the county’s black students were suspended last year, higher than the statewide rate of 15 percent. By comparison, 8 percent of the county’s Hispanics, 7 percent of whites and 3 percent of Asians were suspended.”

Severe disciplinary policies and practices are pushing our schoolchildren, especially our most at-risk children, out of classrooms and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems, according to the ACLU. The “school-to-prison pipeline” reflects the prioritization of incarceration over education. Suspended and expelled children are often left unsupervised and without constructive activities. They easily fall behind in their coursework, leading to a greater likelihood of disengagement and dropouts. Read more…


Cornerstone Theater Company is a multiethnic, ensemble-based theater company. For 27 years, the organization has produced socially relevant and thought-provoking plays that bring together the artistry of professional and community collaborators to build bridges between and within diverse communities. Cornerstone offers people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures the opportunity to tell their stories through theater. Through its art-making, the organization has worked in hundreds of communities – reaching tens of thousands of individuals, developing and producing more than 80 original plays, and training over 2000 students in its unique methodology. Works are based on the conviction that aesthetic practice is social justice, artistic expression is civic engagement, and that access to a creative forum is an essential part of the wellness and health of every individual and community. For information, please visit Cornerstone’s website.


The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. The Endowment challenges the conventional wisdom that medical settings and individual choices are solely responsible for people’s health. The Endowment believes that health happens in neighborhoods, schools, and with prevention.

The Endowment hopes to move school discipline policy and practice across California away from reliance on punishment and toward positive approaches that prevent classroom disruption and address the underlying causes of misbehavior. For more information, visit The Endowment’s website.

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