Seminar focuses on path for kids

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It takes a village to keep a child in school and out of the prison system, those at a School to Prison Pipeline workshop in Augusta said Saturday.

The gathering, held by the Augusta branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was attended by area educators, pupils and parents at the Richmond County Board of Education's Broad Street office.

The day's seminar, called Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline, addressed the effects of the zero-tolerance policy in schools. Specifically, speakers talked about how the policy forces youths sometimes as young as 9 years old out of classrooms and into juvenile lockups for minor infractions. Speakers said that in a different time, such problems would have resulted in counseling or a visit to the principal's office.

"We have a population of people who are getting less and less education," said Dr. Wanda Jackson, the education chairwoman for the Georgia State Conference NAACP and principal at Cherokee Elementary School in Americus, Ga. "The School to Prison Pipeline creates less-educated people."

Dr. Jackson urged workshop attendees to form a coalition of community agencies to address the social problems that can lead minority children into the juvenile justice system and eventually the criminal justice system. Such social problems, she said, involve health care, child abuse and failing schools.

The School to Prison Pipeline workshop in Augusta was the first in the state to address the issue, said Dr. Edward O. Dubose, the president of the Georgia NAACP.

Dr. Dubose, who attended Saturday's workshop, said the NAACP plans to hold similar events across Georgia about the need to dismantle the School to Prison Pipeline.

"I hope that people walk away understanding that the education system is not just a teacher issue, it's not just a parent issue -- it's a village issue," he said.

Reach Michelle Guffey at (803) 648-1395, ext. 110, or michelle.guffey@augustachronicle.com.

GIVING KIDS A CHANCE

Suggestions for dismantling the Prison to Pipeline cycle:


- Make sure children can read by fourth grade and be able to succeed at work and in life after graduation.


- Provide an after-school program.


- Ensure health care, child care, education and training for pupils.


- Create more jobs.


- Encourage dialogue among parents concerning area school system policies.

Source: NAACP Georgia State Conference

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christian134
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christian134 03/30/08 - 08:03 am
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Sending a student to the

Sending a student to the office, added hour of study hall and counseling was something that for the most part worked back in the day but nowadays it will no more work than by trying to clean up one area we just pile it on top of another unclean area. These children have become so desentized to right and wrong that no amount of coddling will work at this stage of the game. For now discipline works and most times they could care less if they are disciplined or not as their partners in crime will grab a gun and shoot anyone in their path. NAACP until you bring the message that the family unit needs reinforcing instead of looking the other way, blaming others for the children who have gone totally the wrong way nothing is going to change it will just worsen. What do you think would happen when this tidal wave of criminal activity flows into your "neck of the woods or hoods"? Your song just might take a different direction.

whatsupwiththat
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whatsupwiththat 03/30/08 - 09:43 am
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It does not "take a village"

It does not "take a village" or any of the other socialist rhetoric. It takes parents.

crazyoldman
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crazyoldman 03/30/08 - 10:33 am
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That’s just what we need a

That’s just what we need a racist hate group like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People telling us how to raise our children in a village.

WHATDIDIDO
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WHATDIDIDO 03/30/08 - 11:15 am
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For some of you, it's damned

For some of you, it's damned if you do, damned if you don't. If you have anything positive to add, atend the meeting.

nextstep
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nextstep 03/30/08 - 12:34 pm
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It was a great meeting with a

It was a great meeting with a lot of information on what can be done to help our children. Yes it takes parents but it also takes the community to ensure our children are on the right path. We can no longer turn our heads and say "it's not my child", it is your child because you are paying for them one way or another. We can no longer place blame on the parents, teachers, or any one in the community. We all own a part of the problem. We have allowed someone to tell us we can't displicine our children that time out is better. We have told women you don't need a man to help you raise your young boys and girls. We have told our young girls it's okay to have a baby while the boy goes about his merry way making more children. We have told our men they don't match up to other men and are worthless. Most important we have taken prayer out of the schools. We have told our children it's okay to express yourself in any form or fashion. While they have fire truck red hair, large ring in ears, nose and any other part of the body they can put one. We say its okay to wear your pants to your knees. So we all have a part in this mess we have created with out children.

Craig Spinks
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Craig Spinks 03/30/08 - 01:04 pm
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"(N)extstep," well-said!

"(N)extstep," well-said!

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 03/30/08 - 01:39 pm
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The NAACP does not

The NAACP does not acknowledge that 75% of AA families have no father living in the home. Kids have no paternal influence or role model; especially the sons. They do not place a premium on education, and are more susceptible to starting a life of crime/drugs/prison. It "takes a village" because the AA "family" has disentegrated, and we can see the effects upon society at large. I don't have a solution for this, other than each person taking the responsibility for their own actions. AA men need to start acting like true "men" and take care of the families they produce. Otherwise, there will be no village left in a couple generations, other than public housing projects containing women and a slew of kids.

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