Group renews push for peer-based conflict resolution vs. traditional discipline in schools

June 26, 2017. The Lawrence Journal-World.

Renewing their earlier calls for transparency and accountability, members of Justice Matters are again urging the school board to consider implementing restorative justice in Lawrence schools.

Gary Schmidt, co-chair of the group’s racial justice steering committee, used Monday’s school board meeting to re-engage the board in a conversation that board president Marcel Harmon said began last spring surrounding racial justice. Restorative justice hinges on empowering students to resolve conflicts on their own through peer-mediated small groups, as opposed to more traditional disciplinary methods.

Parents, faith leaders confront Henrico School Board over ‘reading crisis’

May 25, 2017. WRIC.

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Faith leaders and parents in Henrico confronted school board members about the county’s lagging literacy rates on Thursday, and the board got an earful.

Parents are calling it a ‘reading crisis’ after thousands of students failed to pass their state reading test last year.

Local organization calls for solution to Henrico’s ‘reading crisis’

May 25, 2017. WRIC.

HENRICO Co., Va. (WRIC) — A local organization is set to attend the Henrico County School Board meeting on Thursday to address concerns that the school-wide literacy efforts are not meeting the needs of students.

Representing Richmonders Involved to Strengthen our Communities (RISC) says they are demanding a solution after nearly 8,000 children failed their state reading tests in 2016. According to RISC, this is an increase of nearly 500 students failing since the 2014-15 school year.

Faith group continues literacy push in Henrico schools

May 6, 2017. Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The time during the evening assembly had arrived for Henrico County Public Schools officials to approach the stage inside St. Paul’s Baptist Church.

“Are they here? Is the School Board here? Do they care?” pressed Ralph Hodge, the pastor of Second Baptist Church of South Richmond and co-president of Richmonders Involved to Strengthen Our Communities.

Knox County education leaders tackle race, gender and suicide in wide ranging meeting

May 4, 2017. WBIR.

Teen suicide, racial disparities and transgender bathrooms — all these topics were taken up Wednesday night by Knox County education leaders at the school board meeting.

Superintendent Bob Thomas addressed the deaths this year of three Farragut High students at the beginning of the meeting.