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Report: Virginia Needs to Make Changes Related to In-School Arrests

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A new report from the Virginia Legal Aid Justice Center suggests Virginia needs to make some sweeping changes when it comes to arresting children in school.

A Center for Public Integrity investigation last year found Virginia has the highest rate in the country for in-school referrals to law enforcement, , with minorities and those with disabilities getting a disproportionate number of them.

You may remember Kayleb Moon-Robinson, the 11 year old Lynchburg boy with autism, who got national attention after being charged with disorderly conduct and assaulting a police officer for several incidents at school.

The Center for Public integrity says his case is one of many that are problematic.

The report from the "JustChildren" program points to a number of problems... among them--

School Resource or Security officers are not required to be trained in working with children, plus their very presence makes it easier for employees to refer misbehavior to police rather than working through it themselves.

It also finds there aren't enough resources, particularly in more depressed communities, to prevent misbehavior or provide positive ways of dealing with it-- all of which it states are "a recipe for disaster."

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The study concludes Virginia should change the laws on in school charges, and provide training for school based officers, and more resources for positive strategies to prevent misbehavior.

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