In 2015, 36 percent of Hispanic high schools students and 27.3 percent of black students reported feeling so sad or hopeless every day for two or more weeks that they stopped doing some of their usual activities, according to the state Department of Public Health’s 2015 Connecticut Youth Risk Behavior Survey. By comparison, 22.6 percent of white students answered the same.
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Research studies suggest that challenges students face outside the classroom and unacknowledged biases among teachers both are factors in higher discipline rates for students who are black, male, or have disabilities.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is reviewing an Obama-era policy that tried to counter racial bias in school discipline and lessen penalties for student infractions. That’s putting a spotlight on what causes disparities in school discipline and how they can be fixed.
The Cumberland County sheriff’s office was given countywide responsibility 30 years ago, when then-Fayetteville Police Chief Ron Hansen suggested school duty was better suited for the sheriff’s office because schools are governed and operated by county government.
Representatives signed what they called a Partnership Agreement Community Teams with Schools document that outlines strategies for addressing student misconduct.
A new study of Chicago Public Schools found that a modest drop in suspensions for high-level offenses actually led to small increases in test scores and attendance for all students in a school.
Credit a reboot of student discipline and a system of school operation that teaches kids how to behave in every scenario and rewards positive behavior. Rather than only negatively reacting to misdeeds, every adult in the building creates clear expectations and goes out of his or her way to honor good conduct as a way of preventing trouble.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is pushing legislation that would make several changes to the state’s juvenile justice policies and spending plans, including limitations on the use of detention and increased resources for rural parts of the state.
The goal is to have school districts—with parental feedback—develop a graduated “positive discipline” system that leads to punitive punishment and lost school time only as a last resort. It would also require schools to factor in the role that formative traumatic stress plays on student behavior.
Susan Enfield, superintendent of Highline Public Schools, responded to criticism by seeking additional feedback from teachers and principals, ensuring that top officials from the district visit schools throughout the year to see firsthand the changes in progress. She plans to introduce tweaks along the way—by adding more opportunities for kids to work on social and emotional skills, for example.
Unlike most mentoring programs in the United States, which offer a few months or years of involvement, Friends of the Children offers kids 12 years of continuous mentorship from kindergarten to high school graduation.
Since the establishment of the county’s juvenile diversion program in 2015, it has maintained a 93.5 percent success rate. The program, according to Fairfield County Juvenile Court Judge Terre Vandervoort, is one of many established in the past few years in response to new evidence on recidivism prevention.
University of Pittsburgh social work professor Sara Goodkind cited a recent survey of 1,600 teenagers in Allegheny County. In it, white girls were just as likely to report using drugs and alcohol as black girls. Yet, black girls are more than three times as likely to be referred to juvenile court for drug offenses.
By 2015, the department had banned the use of solitary confinement as punishment. It also restricted its use to no longer than 24 hours at a time, required that youths be given time outside the room for showers and recreation and it put in place stricter reporting standards for data collection.
There were about 6,800 suspensions and expulsions last school year, down from nearly 8,500 the year before. The nearly 20-percent drop comes as city schools CEO Sonja Santelises has put renewed emphasis on positive behavioral interventions.
The department will award up to $1 million in grants this year to local judicial districts that provide community-based services, treatment programs, or alternatives to out-of-home placement. Districts or groups of districts will apply for the funds through a partnership with the Administrative Office of the Courts, which is acting as the fiscal agent for the grants.
The so-called recovery high school, on the site of the former Biltmore Continuation High School, is a first for Clark County. But it’s part of a national movement that began in the mid-1980s and has accelerated amid soaring overdose deaths associated with the opioid epidemic.
The Texas Juvenile Justice Coalition wants lawmakers to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 17 to 18 in the 2019 legislative session. The ACLU of Texas, Texans Care for Children, Texas PTA, Texas Appleseed, and Disability Rights Texas joined the coalition during a press conference inside the State Capitol Friday.
The Office will serve as a firsthand resource working directly with youth and families to foster communication and amplify their voice in the ongoing improvement of the juvenile justice system. Youth and families will have an additional avenue to raise concerns and engage with the Department to ensure youth and family needs are addressed.
Located in every district school, planning centers represent a fundamental shift in the approach to student discipline: students go from having little, or no, say in how they’re disciplined to being empowered to assess and correct their own behavior, district CEO Eric Gordon said.