If there was a delinquency problem in the middle school you were the public administrator in how would you deal with that problem? What are some of the solutions that are available?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Probably two of the things to try to avoid are the expulsion or suspension of the students since studies have shown that this is rarely an effective measure. In a recent study, for instance, youths who were suspended or expelled were three times more likely to come in contact with the juvenile justice system within a year.

Within the school, there are some that can produce a more positive effect on such students:

  • Students can confer with counselors.
  • If there is a school psychiatrist, students can meet with him/her.
  • Social workers can be consulted.
  • A parent conference can take place.
  • If there is a Mentoring Program in the community, these adults can be called on to work with the students in question.
  • The Federal¬†Supportive School Initiative program¬†provides help to schools. It offers, among other services,

(1) actions to advance state and local efforts to improve school climate and school discipline, and (2) a directory of the federal technical assistance, as well as other resources that relate to school climate and discipline.

According to Robert L. Listenbee, Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention,

The vast majority of children in our juvenile justice system have a previous history of exposure to violence and trauma.

Therefore, measures to alleviate or remove such exposure need to be in force. Such measures, according to Listenbee "involve identification, specialized services, evidence-based treatment, and proper care and support." Returning the children to the environment of violence and trauma is harmful; this is why suspension can produce the effects that are so negative. Intervention is a better solution.

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