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Georgia team meets with LA officials to reform school discipline

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LA officials are meeting with a team from an Atlanta suburb that has pioneered methods to reduce on-campus arrests, in hopes of creating a similar, more holistic system to deal with misbehaving students. (Sept. 13, 2012)

Los Angeles school, law enforcement and county officials are meeting Thursday with a team from an Atlanta suburb that pioneered methods to reduce on-campus arrests. They hope to create a similar, more holistic system to deal with misbehaving students.

Rather than focusing on punishment, these methods focus on looking at bad behavior as a symptom in kids, who are still mentally and emotionally developing, and trying to deal with the root causes of their actions. 

The technical assistance team is headed by Judge Steven Teske of Clayton County, Georgia, who has worked on changing the response to low-level juvenile offenses since 2003. He has helped officials in counties across the country drop their arrest rates. In his own county, Teske's efforts dropped the fighting offenses in schools by 87 percent between 2002 and 2010; graduation rates rose by 20 percent.

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