Blog: Seeking Justice for Children

The Seeking Justice for Children blog is a collaborative effort among attorneys, academics, and other advocates for children's rights. To submit an item for posting, please email Kimberly Jordan, director of the Justice for Children Project, at jordan.723@osu.edu.


From the Briefing Room

The Approach Can Make All the Difference

I was emailed the graphic below today.  Enlightening, right?

rp-carlos

The children we represent in the Clinic are routinely treated as criminals for typical teen-age behavior.  Children charged with theft after a mis-understanding about the use of another child’s electronic device, children charged with assault or disorderly conduct for responding poorly to another student or administrator.  These children then miss school to attend court, have an arrest record, and perhaps a delinquency record, depending on the outcome of their case.  My students are astounded at the types of behavior that leads to juvenile court involvement, and often remark that they are lucky to have had understanding parents and attended good schools.

Our children shouldn’t be treated differently depending on what school they attend.  All children should have the opportunity to test boundaries, make mistakes, and learn from age-appropriate consequences.  Schools should be able to address routine discipline problems without resorting to police involvement.  Ask yourself, how does your child’s school handle typical teen-age behavior?