Weekly Roundup

Fifty Year Later, In re Gault Continues to Inspire, The Huffington Post

Gerald Gault was a fifteen-year-old Arizona boy who was arrested in 1964 for making obscene phone calls to a neighbor. After a brief juvenile court hearing in which Gault was unrepresented by counsel, Gault was convicted and shipped off to a juvenile prison until his 21st birthday. Had he been an adult, the most severe penalty he could have received was a $50 fine and two months in jail.

Gault spoke not only to the problem of false confessions but also to increased risk of coerced confessions when youthful suspects are interrogated.

Schneider: Improving Foster Care Should Include Juvenile Justice Reforms, The Houston Chronicle

Each child who walks into my courtroom is unique, but most of them have a lot in common. Many have been scarred by childhood neglect and extreme trauma.

Some of these children come to my court by way of Child Protective Services (CPS) and the foster-care system that state lawmakers and Gov. Greg Abbott vowed to transform during the 2017 legislative session. Some of them come to my court by way of the juvenile-justice system. And, unfortunately, many Texas children first appear in court through a CPS case and then end up back in my courtroom as a juvenile offender.

Not So Special Ed, Texas Monthly

Since 2004, the percentage of kids in Texas schools receiving special-ed services has dropped well below the national average of 13 percent to 8.5 percent. The Texas Education Agency claims that this drastic drop is a result of commitment and better programs, along with a desire to stop schools from dumping minority kids, including non–English speakers, in special ed. But the federal government agreed with Rosenthal’s reporting when he asserted that the TEA arbitrarily assigned the 8.5 percent ceiling during the $1.1 billion state budget cuts required around fourteen years ago.

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