News and Events: July 2015

Virginia tops nation in sending students to cops, courts: Where does your state rank?

The Center for Public Integrity

Kayleb Moon-Robinson was 11 years old last fall when charges — criminal charges — began piling up at school.


Diagnosed as autistic, Kayleb was being scolded for misbehavior one day and kicked a trash can at Linkhorne Middle School in Lynchburg, Virginia, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. A police officer assigned to the school witnessed the tantrum, and filed a disorderly conduct charge against the sixth grader in juvenile court.

Connecticut Moves to Restrict Suspension and Expulsion in the Early Grades

News America Ed Central

Next week, Connecticut’s legislation to restrict out-of-school suspensions and expulsions for pre-K through second grade students will go into effect. Governor Malloy signed the bill into law last week, after it passed unanimously in the state’s House and Senate. State Representative Andy Fleischmann explained in the Hartford Courant, how the bill received bipartisan support, saying, “A recent report from the state Department of Education showed a disturbingly large number of children getting suspensions. That was one of the things that motivated the General Assembly to act.” In fact, the number of children under the age of seven who were suspended from public schools increased by 22 percent between  2011 and 2014.

Why Are There so Many LGBT Youth in Prison?

ATTN

For the thousands of LGBT youth in the American juvenile justice system, bullying is just the beginning. That’s because, while lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender nonconforming (GNC) youth makeup five to seven percent of young people in America, they are 15 percent of young people in the juvenile justice system.

Low-income youth and youth of color are also particularly affected: a shocking 60 percent of the LGBT youth arrested and/or detained each year are Black or Latino. Factors ranging from family rejection to school discipline to homelessness—each exacerbating the other—increase LGBT and gender nonconforming youth’s risk of being funneled into the juvenile justice system.

Bibb school discipline numbers take a dip

The Telegraph

Over the past five years, Bibb County schools have seen a sizable drop in discipline issues, from the number of suspensions to other infractions requiring punishment.

The number of in-school and out-of-school suspensions, as well as “other discipline actions” -- from after-school detention to sitting in a counselor’s office -- has decreased by more than 50 percent since 2010, according to data obtained from the school district through an Open Records Act request.

During the 2010-11 school year, for example, the school system had about 20,000 “discipline action counts” -- suspension or other types of punishment. That number had dropped to about 16,000 by 2013-14, and it now sits just below 9,000.

Ed Judie, the former assistant superintendent of student affairs, said he attributes some of the recent success to the start of the new Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports program. That’s a new discipline system that rolled out in Bibb’s middle and high schools this year.