Thursday’s Children & the Law News Roundup

Supreme Court Issues Notice to Centre on Disparity in Law Over Age For Sexual Consent for Married Women, New Delhi, www.NDTV.com

New DelhiThe Supreme Court today issued a notice to the Centre and sought its response on removing disparity in law relating to the age for sexual consent for married women. This comes after a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by an organisation, Independent Thought, said: “Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code allows sexual relationship with a married girl at the age of 15 and does not treat it as rape, whereas anyone below the age of 18 is a child under various laws – juvenile justice act, protection of children against sexual offenses act.”

 

Florida Law Enhances Special Education Rights 

Florida enacted a new law this week intended to reiterate the rights of parents of special education students, including a provision that parents must agree to have their child placed on a track to earn a non-standard diploma, and that schools cannot discourage parents from bringing an adult of their choice to individualized education program meetings.

Many of the new provisions underline rights that were already a part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, but that parents nevertheless had a difficult time enforcing, Siegel said. Parents have always been a part of IEP team meetings, but Siegel said she has heard of cases where schools were shifting students onto special diploma tracks without giving parents an opportunity to object, or to even see the information that was prompting such a decision. The parents were then forced to shoulder the burden of proving that such a placement was inappropriate. Special, non-standard diplomas also cannot be used to enroll in college or the military, so a student with a special diploma can have limited options after graduation, she said.

The burden has now shifted to the school. Schools must also show why it is necessary for a student to be enrolled in a school that only students with disabilities attend.

Friday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

Fewer Kids in Illinois Prisons, Illinois Times

During the late 1980s and 1990s, Illinois’ youth prisons began filling up rapidly. The tough-on-crime approach that began in the 1960s was at the peak of popularity, and state law reflected it in mandatory minimum sentences and other provisions. From 1985 to 2000, the state’s population of incarcerated youth more than doubled, from 1,534 to 3,074.

But changes in how Illinois handles youth crime and punishment have reversed that trend, and Illinois now ranks among the top states in reducing the number of incarcerated youth. That number has dropped from 3,003 in 2001 to less than 900 at present.

A new report by the National Juvenile Justice Network and the Texas Public Policy Foundation details the progress made in Illinois and eight other states which have seen drastic reductions in youth incarceration. Despite the advances, however, advocates say major problems still exist in Illinois’ juvenile justice system.

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Landmark Children’s Rights Case, Child Law Blog

Earlier today, the United States Supreme Court agreed to review a case brought by the Marsh Law Firm concerning criminal restitution for victims of child pornography.

The Court agreed to decide “what, if any, causal relationship or nexus between the defendant’s conduct and the victim’s harm or damages must the government or the victim establish in order to recover restitution under 18 U.S.C. §2259,” the Mandatory Restitution for Sexual Exploitation of Children Act of 1994.

The case, Doyle Randall Paroline v. Amy Unknown, arises out of a long-fought and extensively litigated criminal restitution action which began almost four years ago before Judge Leonard Davis in the Eastern District of Texas Tyler Division.

PARCC Adopts Spec. Ed. Testing Policy for Common Core, Education Week

UPDATE: PARCC has posted online the materials on accommodations for special education students and common-core testing that it made available to its governing board. Please see memo to the board that outlines the contents of the policy; a PowerPoint presentation on the manual, and a draft of the final policy. An edited version is planned for release in late July.

Students with disabilities will be able to use read-aloud accommodations on the English/language arts portion of the common core tests, with no requirement that they be virtually unable to read printed text or be at the beginning stages of learning to decode, according an accommodations manual approved today by the governing board of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Careers.

Friday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

Why Finnish Babies Mostly Sleep in Cardboard Boxes, Updated News

For 75 years, Finland’s expectant mothers have been given a box by the state. It’s like a starter kit of clothes, sheets and toys that can even be used as a bed. And some say it helped Finland achieve one of the world’s lowest infant mortality rates.

It’s a tradition that dates back to the 1930s and it’s designed to give all children in Finland, no matter what background they’re from, an equal start in life.

The maternity package – a gift from the government – is available to all expectant mothers.

South Carolina May Be Next Special Education Voucher State, Education Week

South Carolina is poised to become the 13th state to allow vouchers for students in special education.

The state passed a $6.7 billion budget this week that includes a provision to set aside $8 million in tax credits for people and businesses who donate to entities that dole out scholarships to private schools for students with disabilities. Each student would be eligible for up to $10,000. Gov. Nikki Haley, a Republican who signaled her support for school choice initiatives in a speech to lawmakers at the start of the legislative session, has until Tuesday to issue line-item vetoes.

Juvenile Justice on Kauai in 2013 and Beyond, The Garden Island

The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney is responsible for seeking justice in hundreds of cases involving juveniles each year. In each of those matters, it is our mission to balance the competing interests of the child, of society and of the victims, in attempting to reach a just result.

Our vision is a progressive one, based on immediate sanctions to youthful offenders and providing the services necessary to the entire family to prevent the juvenile from reoffending, while protecting society and achieving justice for crime victims.

To accomplish this mission it is necessary for our attorneys, clerks and victim advocates to work closely with our law enforcement partners at KPD as well as the Juvenile Family Services Branch of the Judiciary. We also work hand-in-hand with our friends at Teen Court.