Keeping kids in school and off the streets is one of the best ways to prevent crime. Unfortunately, suspension and expulsion are often used to discipline minor offenses in schools. These disciplinary actions result in a missed opportunity for learning and create a recipe for greater misbehavior and crime. But this doesn’t have to be the case.
In an effort to mobilize the community and make positive changes for youth—particularly boys of color—Jackson, Mississippi’s law enforcement leaders, Jackson Public School District and students and educators at Wingfield High School held a Teen Town Hall to discuss positive approaches to school discipline that would keep students in school and on the track to graduation and life success. The forum allowed law enforcement members and educators to engage in candid conversations with minority students about education, youth-law enforcement perception and school disciplinary tactics.