Earlier this year, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange published a story with an encouraging headline: “Juvenile prison populations reach all-time lows”. At a time when our nation seems to be taking many steps backward, this headline initially gave me a thrill of hope that progress is still possible. However, that headline only tells us part of the story.
We know school policing and harsh, exclusionary school discipline practices harm students, so we joined 90 civil rights and education organizations to call on Congress to advance critical legislation to provide safe, healthy, and inclusive school climates.
Youth are still growing and learning at such a young age. They should not be subjected to such a harsh punishment because that affects them long-term. Placing them in juvenile detention centers does more damage especially when these centers are not equipped to truly help them on their educational journey.