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- National Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition
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Policy Position 1: Ensure School Engagement
Young people should spend their days in schools preparing to become educated, productive adults, not in the court system. Partnerships between educators, school resource officers, other law enforcement representatives, parents, and students are essential to meet the varied needs of individual students. These partnerships should help ensure school engagement by emphasizing and supporting inclusion and effective responses to youth at risk, versus exclusion or responses that seek to remove rather than resolve problems generated by students who may disengage, become disruptive, or experience academic and/or social failure in school.
To this end, every school environment should be welcoming to students and families, and designed for student success. Policies such as “zero tolerance” and other school disciplinary policies and practices have had negative results for students, especially students from racial/ethnic minority groups and those with special needs and other disabilities. In some cases, such policies exclude students from schools and push them into juvenile and adult justice systems.