The Educate Every Child Campaign launched in 2011 to promote school discipline practices and policies that keep Virginia children in school and decrease the likelihood that they will dropout and enter the justice system. The Campaign is supported by the Educate Every Child Coalition, a group of stakeholders – including parents, teachers, counselors, and advocates who support constructive alternatives to suspension, expulsion, arrest, and court referral.
Our vision is simple. We want school environments that are safe, healthy, positive, and focused on learning. We want student misbehavior to be addressed in developmentally appropriate ways that keep kids in school and teach them how to effectively deal with emotions and conflict. We want all students to graduate prepared to go to college, be civically engaged, meet the demands of the workplace, and contribute to a strong Virginia economy.
The Educate Every Child Coalition supports discipline approaches that help students stay in school while ensuring that suspended, expelled, and court-involved students receive the educational services they need to stay on track toward graduation. These approaches include:
- Professional development for school staff and school-based law enforcement officers on implicit bias, de-escalation strategies, disabilities, mental health issues, trauma, and parent engagement;
- Implementation of a system of progressive, age-appropriate consequences for misbehavior;
- Use of proven strategies to prevent misbehavior, including social and emotional learning programs;
- Use of evidence-based behavioral interventions and alternative programs, including Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, restorative justice, and mental health services;
- High-quality alternative education for students who are removed from traditional classrooms;
- A system for tracking and reducing school-based arrests and court referrals; and
- Mandatory training for school-based law enforcement officers on how to interact with youth and assist students with behavioral and mental health needs.