School suspensions tied to increase in assaults, theft, drug crimes, Kentucky researchers say

July 18, 2019. Lexington Herald Leader.

Two researchers from Kentucky have co-authored a new study that shows that school suspensions increased criminal behaviors among teens that include assault, stealing, and selling drugs.

The study, by former Elizabethtown resident Thomas James Mowen, now a researcher at Ohio’s Bowling Green State University and John J. Brent, an assistant professor at Eastern Kentucky University, was published July 12 in Justice Quarterly, a publication of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. It has received national media attention this week.

“The effect of school discipline aren’t as short-lived as some people think,” Brent told the Herald-Leader Wednesday. “It can create a ripple effect that impacts youth as they move into and enter adulthood.”

Education Coalition wants public hearing for KCS, local law enforcement policy agreement

July 16, 2019. WATE

Several community groups have requested a public forum to discuss an agreement soon to be made between the Knox County School district and the local law enforcement agencies.

The agreement mentioned is the Memorandum of Agreement by and between the Knox County Board of Education, Knoxville Police Department and Knox County Sheriff’s Office, which addresses the roles and responsibilities of law enforcement agencies at the schools.

“The draft Memorandum of Agreement has been developed largely behind closed doors and without meaningful opportunity for questions, comments or input from the public,” according to the release sent by the Education Coalition.

Interfaith group pushes Fayette to address higher rates of suspensions for black students

May 24, 2019. Lexington Herald-Leader.

A “high number of suspensions and racial disparities” in Fayette County Public Schools is motivating Belinda Snead to implore school board members to make changes.

Snead said that she is not only speaking as a member of an interfaith organization but as a grandmother of students in Fayette County schools who have been suspended.

“I’m very concerned about the high number of suspensions and racial disparities,” Snead told school board members at their May 20 meeting. “My grandchildren have been suspended three times as have other families represented by the BUILD organization and we know that kids do better when they stay in school.

Dozens of congregations around the Midlands address social issues at event

May 7, 2019. WIS News.

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – 30 congregations of various faiths across the Midlands were in downtown Columbia tonight to try and improve social issues in our state. The group is called MORE Justice which stands for The Midlands Organized Response for Equity and Justice.

Tonight, they held their 2nd annual Nehemiah Action Assembly.

The group wanted to focus again on being proactive, and asking elected officials for their support.

“The people in our communities are not expendable,” one speaker at the event said.

Interfaith group BREAD seeks more focus on housing crisis

May 6, 2019. The Columbus Dispatch.

Ali Miller is an AmeriCorps VISTA worker who spends half of her paycheck on housing here in Columbus.

The job doesn’t pay much, she said — about $12,000 a year. That gives her no money for a car, or alcohol. She gets no money from her parents.

And a local social justice group says there are thousands more like Miller who can’t pay the escalating rents in a growing Columbus and central Ohio.

“We want affordable housing too,” said Miller, not new places with $1,000-a-month rents with granite countertops and fancy exercise rooms.