American School Counselor Association (ASCA) supports school counselors. School counselors almost under attack as much as teachers. Their role is being relegated to helping students with testing and getting into college. While this is important, a school counselor’s role is about so much more. For some students a school counselor is their only hope in getting support with mental health services. “The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) supports school counselors’ efforts to help students focus on academic, personal/social and career development so they achieve success in school and are prepared to lead fulfilling lives as responsible members of society. ASCA provides professional development, publications and other resources, research and advocacy to more than 28,000 professional school counselors around the globe.” The website has a section for administrators and parents.
Blocks Together (BT) may originate from the wonderful city of Chicago, but there is no reason other cities and communities can’t replicate this organizational neighborhood concept. This organization “is a membership-based community organizing group in the West Humboldt Park (WHP) neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side. Since 1995, BT has empowered residents to work together for systematic changes that bring concrete improvement to their lives.” They “tackle social justice issues relating to education, housing, economic justice and the criminalization of youth,” and they frame their “work through the lens of racial justice and human rights and we emphasize ongoing political education and connection of our campaigns to broader social justice movements.”
- Created interactive Know Your Rights workshops for youth by youth on school discipline and policing.
- Won the public release of school-based arrest rates in 2006.
- Won the replacement of Zero Tolerance language with Restorative Justice language in CPS discipline code through informal coalition of restorative justice advocates citywide in 2007.
- Won commitment from CPS office of Safety and Security to pilot our restorative justice training for security guards in 2010.
- Won commitment from Orr High School to refer cases of minor misconduct to the BT trained Peer Jury instead of suspension in 2011.
- Partnered with Cameron Elementary to build model of whole-school approach to Restorative Justice 2012.
- Won the decrease of maximum out-of-school suspensions in CPS from 10 days down to five days through the High HOPES campaign in 2012.
The Center for Effective Discipline (CED) is a non-profit organization which provides educational information to the public on the effects of corporal punishment of children and alternatives to its use. It is currently the headquarters for and coordinates both National Coalition to Abolish Corporal Punishment in Schools (NCACPS) and End Physical Punishment of Children (EPOCH-USA). They have links to Discipline at home, Discipline at School, What you can do, Answers for Parents, Religion, Laws, and News concerning this issue.
Ending the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track involves the Advancement Project–a team of veteran civil rights lawyers. The Advancement Project, a multi-racial civil rights organization, in 1999, has several racial and social justice goals but I chose above.
They also have a blog http://www.advancementproject.org/blog.
The National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) supports state-based groups working “to promote the reform of America’s critically flawed juvenile justice system at every level.” The NJJN seek “state and federal laws, policies and practices that are fair, equitable and developmentally appropriate for all children, youth and families involved in, or at risk of becoming involved in, the justice system.” NJJN and the groups it supports adhere to principles including: reducing institutionalization and racial disparity, keeping youth out of adult prisons, ensuring access to quality counsel, creating smaller rehabilitative institutions and a range of community-based programs, maximizing youth, family and community participation, improving aftercare and reentry, and recognizing and serving youth with special needs.
Parenting in Jesus’ Footsteps was created by a Christian family upset with the rigid discipline some parents justify with the Bible. They demonstrate a better way to discipline that doesn’t employ hitting and can be used by schools as well. Whether you have religious beliefs like this family or not, the website can help stop the use of corporal punishment and introduce more effective ways to discipline.
School Psychology: Resources for Parents, Teachers, and Psychologists provides valuable information for those in these three roles. Parents can find material about mental and physical health of children, behavior management, disabilities, cultural and linguistic diversity, and more. The site includes resources for teachers about special ed. assessment, classroom management and discipline and covers serious issues like cyberbullying. Psychologists can also find material covering interventions, consultation and collaboration and much more.
Texas Zero Tolerance is dedicated to reforming public school disciplinary codes. They support safe schools and proactive discipline policy to assure safety, but argue the current Texas school discipline system requires drastic overhaul. Right now this site is for archival information only.
“Access Denied: New Orleans Students and Parents Identify Barriers to Public Education.” by Shakti Belway. Southern Poverty Law Center.
“School Uniforms: The Answer to Violence in American Schools or a Cheap Educational Reform?” by Julia Wilkins. In The Humanist. March/April 1999.
Beyond Survival: How to Thrive in Middle and High School for Beginning and Improving Teachers (Practical Guide Series) by Gary Rubenstein
Changing Problem Behavior in Schools by Alex Molnar and Barbara Lindquist
Education as Enforcement:The Militarization and Corporatization of Schools by Kenneth J. Saltman & David A. Gabbard
Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise, and Other Bribes by Alfie Kohn
Punishing Schools:Fear and Citizenship in American Public Education by William Lyons and Julie Drew
Reluctant Disciplinarian by Gary Rubenstein
The School Uniform Movement and What It Tells Us about American Education: A Symbolic Crusade by David L. Brunsma