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.

Officer Training

Should officers receive special training to work with youth?
SFY's Opinion »

School Resource Officers (SROs)

What should parents ask about the SROs in their children's school?
SFY's Opinion »

Use of Force

Should policies regarding use of force be different for youth than for adults?
SFY's Opinion »

Public Health

How can policing affect the mental health of a community?
SFY's Opinion »

An avoidable murder: Better training for policing teenagers

Last week, a Dallas County jury sentenced former police officer Roy Oliver to 15 years in prison for murdering 15-year-old Jordan Edwards. Oliver shot Edwards in the head while he was in a car with several other teenagers. Edwards might not have lost his life if Oliver had been better trained in the unique aspects of policing teens.

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Cops and Kids: Setting Rules That Save Lives

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.

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Increasing Public Safety

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.

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What Parents Need to Ask About School Police

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.

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Letter to Editor: A Bridge Between Students and the Police

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.

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Letter to Editor: Police Departments Should Have State Standards

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?

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