Bills proposed to keep school disputes out of courtrooms (VA)

Several lawmakers, Delegate Jeff Bourne, D-Richmond,  Mike Mullin, D-Newport News and Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, have introduced bills that would limit criminal charges for student misbehavior or classmate beefs.

The bills filed in both the House and Senate would prohibit students from being found guilty of disorderly conduct in school. It’s a charge that could carry jail time.

Special ed students more likely to receive harsher punishments in school

About 9.8 percent of Texas students were listed as special education in 2016-2017, but 18.4 percent of students sent to alternative schools run by local juvenile justice departments that school year were in special education. They accounted for about 17.7 percent of students placed on out-of-school suspension and 16.3 percent of students sent to district-run disciplinary schools.

A California court finds social-media posts aren’t a First Amendment right

The opinion summarized the case as follows:

One of the goals of the juvenile law is reformation and rehabilitation of the minor’s attitude so that he respects the rights of others. Here, appellant seems to think that his felonious conduct is a springboard for braggadocio on the internet. Appellant has First Amendment freedom of speech rights. But the juvenile court may curtail such rights in an appropriate case by a narrowly tailored condition of probation. This is an appropriate case.

Congress Finally Reauthorizes Juvenile Justice Act After 16 Years

On Thursday, Congress passed a bill reauthorizing a major federal juvenile justice crime bill for the first time in 16 years

Advocates say the reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) is a huge victory, since its funding has drastically declined over the years and its provisions have become outdated, putting youth charged with crimes at risk.

In Pursuit of Justice for Children

National research shows that nearly half of the youth in the juvenile justice system are performing below grade level in reading and math, many are marginally literate or illiterate, and most have a history of significant truancy and grade retention. About two out of three students drop out after exiting the juvenile justice system.

Here are several strategies that can make a difference.

In a Utah Courthouse, Justice for Youth Comes With Shackles

Under a 2015 amendment to Utah’s juvenile-offender laws, shackles for minors were restricted only to those judged a flight risk or who might harm others. A subsequent rule enacted by the Utah Judicial Council, allowed a judge to decide on a case-by-case basis whether a youth should be shackled to be restrained in court.

Yet that judicial rule has an exception for “exigent circumstances.” And in Manti, court officials say the outdated Sanpete County Courthouse presents security issues that require them to routinely shackle youths.