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innocence.
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innocence.

‘innocence.’ follows a group of Black and Latina women activists in San Jose, Calif., as they drive a grass-roots movement to remove police from their children’s schools.

Growing up, we both witnessed how harsh disciplinary measures used in public schools negatively impacted our peers. We wanted to use the power of film to highlight these practices that still exist today and how they disproportionately target Black children and children of color.

We entered a community in San José that had united behind an idea to improve the lives of the next generation. The murder of George Floyd prompted calls to defund the police, and policing in schools quickly became a focus of attention.

Dozens of school districts across the country cut ties with local law enforcement following protests in 2020. This included districts in major Bay Area cities such as Oakland and San Francisco. However, San José Unified School District, the largest in San José and one of the largest in Northern California, ruled out the possibility of eliminating police involvement in its schools.

Following the completion of this film, school districts across San José voted to greatly reduce police presence in schools. Families continue to pressure the districts to end all police presence and implement adequate restorative justice and mental health services for students. Our film will continue to be shared as a reminder about how the current system is unjust and unsustainable.

Through our documentary, we aim to contextualize nationwide calls for reducing police budgets and allow impacted communities to share their experiences about why this issue is so important to them. We hope that our film will enable meaningful dialogue on these issues and lead to solutions that will create a better future for children of all communities.