Op Eds and Opinion Pieces by Strategies for Youth
Legislators, reformer communities, government agencies and parents ask Strategies for Youth for guidelines, research and model policies. You can explore some of those questions by flipping the blue boxes and then reading our opinion pieces on those topics.
While considerable progress has been made among law enforcement to treat young victims differently, too many police and prosecutors still fail to recognize that in the delinquency setting, young children do not perceive, process, and experience the world as adults do and also need to be treated differently.
A conversation about taking a trauma-informed approach to young people and the justice system, in which we covered: (1) how exposure to trauma can push vulnerable young people into the justice system unnecessarily, and (2) how police can use our growing awareness of the behavioral effects of trauma on youth to create networks of support instead of punishment.
Would anyone bring a 10-year old suffering from the flu to a doctor who had not been required to pass state-level medical boards? Two youth advocates wonder why there aren’t similar state agencies setting standards for police behavior with young people.
With all of the disturbing news we hear about so often concerning police/community relations, it was extremely heartening to read the article “Lewiston police chief credits youth outreach for lower crime rate” in the Sun Journal (Oct. 24). I am grateful that Police Chief Brian O’Malley engaged our organization, Strategies for Youth, to provide the training for police officers that helped to bring about these positive changes in partnership with youth-serving community based organizations in Lewiston.
We all remember the video of the South Carolina incident, in which a teacher called a school administrator to deal with a student who refused to give up her cell phone. The administrator called a School Resource Officer (SRO), who ripped the girl from her chair, threw her across the room, and arrested her. A classmate who videotaped this violence was also arrested. The ACLU is representing the student who videotaped the assault in a lawsuit.
A blog post from earlier this summer poses interesting questions about whether students should be required to learn appropriate behavior when interacting with police (“Should Students Be Taught How to Deal With Police?,” July 7, 2017). But it fails to discuss the importance of considering how this information is taught or by whom, both of which influence what is taught.
The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office and Strategies for Youth are partnering to launch a new game at the Marcus Whitfield Summer Camp Youth Summit
In response to a June 5, 2017 story by Cory Shaffer, “Lakewood mother files suit against police officer who broke her teen daughter’s jaw inside library:” it’s time to protect our students’ civil rights and advocate for a set of state standards for law enforcement. Why are police departments exempt from the same state support, oversight and accountability as doctors and teachers?
Kudos to Trise Moore and to the Federal Way public school system in Washington state for developing a community- and family-engagement model in schools that empowers parents to advocate for their children (“Giving Parents a Prominent Voice in Schools,” Education Week, Feb. 22, 2017). It is heartening to not only learn about such programs, but to read that they are being used as models for other districts to emulate.