Weekly Round Up (September 24, 2019)

Florida officer fired for ‘traumatic’ arrests of two 6-year-old students at school

An Orlando school resource officer who arrested two 6-year-old children on the same day last week was fired Monday amid growing outcry, officials said.

Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolón said Dennis Turner, who had been suspended after the incidents Thursday at a charter school, did not follow the department’s policy requiring approval from a supervisor for any arrest of a minor younger than 12.

“On behalf of myself and the entire Orlando Police Department, I apologize to the children involved and their families,” Rolón said during a news conference Monday. “As a grandfather of three children less than 11 years old, I can only imagine how traumatic this was for everyone involved.”  Read More

State Bar Board Takes Position Against Indiscriminate Juvenile Shackling

The State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors, which represents the membership through elected seats in 16 districts, has voted unanimously to support a policy position against the indiscriminate shackling of juveniles in juvenile court.

Specifically, the State Bar now supports a no-shackling presumption but recognizes that judges would retain authority to order shackling if necessary, as a matter of safety.

“The State Bar believes the practice [of shackling juveniles] impedes the attorney-client privilege, chills juveniles’ constitutional right to due process, runs counter to the presumption of innocence, and draws into question the rehabilitative ideals of the juvenile court,” the State Bar’s adopted policy position states.  Read More


On any given day, more than 53,000 youth in the United States are being held in a detention center or criminal justice facility, according to the Prison Policy Initiative, a national nonprofit and non-partisan advocacy group.
Stuck in a school-to-prison pipeline, these youth are being funneled from the classroom to the courtroom to incarceration – a phenomenon that is disproportionately impacting students of color who come from economically disadvantaged families, suffer from learning and mental disabilities and languish in school systems that don’t provide sufficient resources or support, Rhode Island College Assistant Professor of Educational Studies Jeremy Benson said.
“Over the last 40 years or so, we’ve seen ideas, practices and personnel from the criminal justice system permeate our educational system – primarily in poor and working class urban schools – with profoundly harmful effects on the educational trajectories and life chances of youth of color in particular,” said Benson, whose research centers on the political economy of urban education, critical race theory and educational inequality, policing and mass incarceration

Read More

Street Law at the University of Houston Law Center

In Spring 2016, the University of Houston Law Center joined the ranks of over 100 law schools with the launch of the Street Law program. The initiative was spearheaded by Professor Ellen Marrus, Royce Till Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Children, Law & Policy, based on her previous work with Street Law and her experience as a Fellow with the program at Georgetown Law Center. For more than 40 years, the Street Law program has developed classroom and community programs that educate young people about law and government.

The purpose of the class is to expose high school students to the law and the legal system, while also encouraging them to think about college and law school. The Street Law class provides a unique professional development opportunity for law students as they are able to work on improving their ability to convey legal knowledge to laypersons and strengthen skills that are not necessarily explicitly taught in law school, such as organization and time management. Upon enrolling in the program, each Law Center student is assigned to a high school class and is responsible for developing lessons and teaching the material to the students. The program has reached over 650 students over the past four years.  This year, the program expanded to seven schools and nearly 150 students: Mickey Leland, Houston KIPP, KIPP Northeast, YES Prep North, High School for Law and Justice, Chinquapin, and Milby.

For an in-depth look at the Street Law experience, please click here follow our newest series of journal entries from one of our past extraordinary educators.

For more information about the Street Law program, click below