Keeping Children in School and Out of Court: "School Justice Partnership"

Keeping Children in School and Out of Court

School Justice Partnership Sherri Jefferson Judge Steve Teske

On August 30, 2017 representatives from the fields of justice, education, social services and politicians met at Clayton State University in Georgia to discuss the “School Justice Partnership.” Honorable Judge Steve Teske of the Clayton County Juvenile court hosted the event to disclose information about the status of the School Justice Partnership and its impact upon the State of Georgia.

Joining Judge Teske at the event included Dr. Curtis Jones, the Superintendent of Bibb County Board of Education; DeKalb County Juvenile Court Judge, Honorable Crawford and representatives from the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice, Superintendent of the Atlanta Public School System, and a host of judges, community advocates and more.

The summit discussed the 12-point plan of action to address the education climate in Georgia’s schools that create the prison pipeline or that leads to dropouts.

The 12-point plan includes,

  1. Regional and local school board participation

  2. PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention Support) for schools and community

  3. Restorative Practice

  4. Exclusionary Guidelines to End Zero Tolerance

  5. Diversion Court Program

  6. Back to School Incarceration Program

  7. Developed School Resource Officers

  8. Pathways to Mental Health Services

  9. Re-Entry to Education Services

  10. Training for Stakeholders

  11. Add Student Discipline to Student Attendance

  12. Expand Student Data.

Respectfully, Jefferson disagrees with approaches 11 and 12 because it sets students up to be targeted by school administrators or labeled as troubled students based upon their past. Jefferson recognizes that if enumerations 1 – 10 are properly executed than school districts can benefit from this plan.

This 12-point program was introduced in New York and has since spread throughout the country.

Currently, the partnership is not a mandatory program in the State of Georgia.

Sherri Jefferson received the “last word” when given an opportunity to leave the attendees with the following thoughts. #RaisetheAgeGA to give juvenile court jurisdiction of children until their 18th birthday to prevent school-aged children from entering the prison pipeline. Jefferson also said, that if we are truly dedicated to dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline, then we will raise the age of the mandatory school attendance requirement from 16 to eighteen.

For more information:

For more information about the School Justice Partnership and how your school district can participate:

For more information regarding the School-Justice Partnership Project, please contact NCJFCJ at 775-507-4797 or email Cheri Ely, Program Director, Juvenile Justice at