A bipartisan alliance in Virginia has launched a campaign to cut the number of students arrested by police at schools and reduce the number of juveniles held in large youth prisons in that state. The alliance cites a recent Center for Public Integrity investigation into students arrested and sent to courts in Virginia as evidence supporting a need for statewide and local reforms.
Conservative and progressive participants of the new Rise for Youth campaign are urging schools to stop putting students into the justice system for minor misbehavior, and to clarify the role of school police and their training requirements. Another idea is to persuade lawmakers to exempt children from disorderly conduct criminal codes while at school.
During a press call Thursday, the group of civil rights, religious and fiscal-reform activists also recommended reforming Virginia’s mandatory felony larceny charge that must be imposed for the theft of anything worth $200 or more — a mandate imposed on children, too.