On August 30, Clayton State hosted the Georgia's School Justice Summit. Education advocates, justices and attorneys from across the state convened at Clayton State University on Aug. 30 for the annual Georgia School Justice Summit.
The day-long conference, hosted by the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, brought state leaders together to discuss ways to progress the school justice system in Georgia.
Georgia's high school graduation rate has steadily increased over the past few years, and many attendees and speakers agreed that this is due to state's high school dropout age being 16 along with ineffective ways of transitioning juvenile youth back into Georgia school systems.
Attendees talked about developing ways for transitioning juvenile youth back into the school system, creating more access to mental health services for juvenile youth and students, and developing school justice summits at a state, regional and local level.
The group agreed to develop a plan of action to implement school justice summits on a local and regional level; to find new ways to integrate child education, juvenile justice and child welfare; and to consider raising Georgia's high school dropout age from 16 to 17.
Among the event's guest speakers were Clayton State University President Tim Hynes, Chief Judge of Clayton Juvenile Court Steve Teske and Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen.
Attendees were noticeably moved by the sessions and there was high activity and participation throughout the summit.
"Children need to develop into stable adults and education is a huge part of this", said Justice David E. Nahmias, "If you want to improve society, you have to pay more attention to not punish children for their wrongs but discipline them in the right way and create an environment for them to reform in."
CJCC is comprised of several state organizations dedicated to improving school justice, including the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership and Development, the Georgia Department of Education, REACH Georgia and Clayton State University.