From Zero Tolerance to Restorative Justice in Schools

Expanding pilot programs is often dicey, for reasons which go beyond funding concerns; but this good, short overview should expand imaginations about what's possible for troubled schools: Before 2006, when Debora Borges-Carrera became the principal at Kensington Creative & Performing Arts High School (KCAPA) in north Philadelphia, the school was the scene of pandemonium. Not a day seemed to go by without a fight in the concrete stairwell. Kids sent to the principal’s office for disrupting c … [Read more...]

17th-Century Wind-Up Drinking Robot Goddess Game

It's like a Mad Libs of awesome: It turns out our modern drinking games are weak sauce compared to how European aristocrats partied in the 17th century. Today it’s often about how many shots you can handle in under an hour or what word will signal a waterfall on the latest Bachelorette. Back then, it was apparently about mechanical, heavy, often pointy, and usually animated objects that carried a ton of booze. more … [Read more...]

“Stop Helicopter-Parenting Other People’s Kids”: Michael Brendan Dougherty

yeah: It's an odd way to "help" a child who is unsupervised for five minutes to potentially inflict years of stress, hours of court appearances, and potential legal fees and fines on their parents. Children who experience discreet instances of suboptimal parenting aren't always aided by threatening their parents with stiff, potentially family-jeopardizing legal penalties. The risk of five or even 10 minutes in a temperate, locked car while mom shops is still a lot better than years in group … [Read more...]

Resources on Prisons: Help a Reader Out!

Hi guys. A reader wrote in asking a question I'm embarrassingly ill-equipped to answer: I have been reading both your articles and that of Roger Olson (from the Evangelical Patheos channel). You're in different circles but both, from time to time, have written about poor conditions and unjust practices in prisons and the criminal justice system.What would you recommend for a young recent college grad toA) Read on the subjectB) Do to get involved to try to make things change, in … [Read more...]

“Want to Predict the Future of Surveillance? Ask Poor Communities”: American Prospect

piece: Since Edward Snowden started disclosing millions of classified NSA documents in June, terms like metadata, software backdoors, and cybervulnerability have appeared regularly in headlines and sound bites. Many Americans were astonished when these stories broke. In blogs, comment sections, and op-ed pages, they expressed disbelief and outrage.But I wasn’t surprised. A decade ago, I sat talking to a young mother on welfare about her experiences with technology. When our conversation t … [Read more...]

Increasing Empathy Is a Really Weird Reason for Public Humiliation

But drugs have a funny effect on the brain, I guess: ...It was the second such heroin sweep where authorities sought to publicize the names, hometowns, ages and photos of alleged buyers and distributors. Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes said that tactic would help further educate the public.“We are working toward eliminating the notion that a heroin addict is a person that is in an alley with a needle sticking in their arm,” Valdes said. “We are so removed from that.” more (and a … [Read more...]

Our Initial Goal Is Voluntary Compliance

Middle school edition! After Michael and Melinda May's daughter was drug-tested five times in three years at Susquenita Middle School, they refused to sign a permission slip allowing it to happen again.Leila May was drug-tested once during her fifth grade year, once in sixth grade and three times as a seventh grader because Susquenita School District randomly tests students in grades five through 12 who participate in extracurricular activities and apply for parking permits.Without the … [Read more...]


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