ST. PAUL, Minn. - A Ramsey County task force has released its report in response to an increase in local school violence.
The task force was formed in June 2016 following an outbreak of violence by students toward teachers and staff, most notably in the St. Paul school district.
“These challenges are complex and multi-faceted; solving them will require each of us - as community leaders, parents, and system professionals – to step outside of our silos and be more intentional about how we invest in and engage children and families, particularly across the possible barriers of race, class, culture, and exposure to trauma,” said task member and Ramsey County Attorney John Choi.
After reviewing numerous data reports along with a wide-range of community input, the task force looked to identify the underlying factors that contribute to students "acting out" in school:
- Adults who are challenged to relate to and understand the experiences of students and families with a different racial and/or cultural background than their own.
- Parents and caregivers who are committed to their children’s success, yet need more support and skills about child development and de-escalation and conflict resolution techniques to help their children effectively learn how to process their emotions.
- Acknowledging and embracing community and faith-based leaders as an integral part of family systems.
- The increasing need for youth mental health services in the absence of a mental health system to support children.
The centerpiece of the report focuses on five key recommendations to be addressed at the community, school or systems level:
- Build Healthy Relationships With Youth
- Enhance Proactive, Positive Approaches to Prevent and Respond to Conflict and Challenging Behavior
- Share and Improve Data Across Systems
- Increase Parent/Guardian Support, Education and Relationships
- Improve Training, Hiring, Development and Learning of Adults Working and Living with Youth
Choi will mail the report out to 275 community leaders in Ramsey County to begin developing strategies for local action based on the recommendations.