Good News/Bad News

In this section, Lives in the Balance keeps you up-to-date on breaking news about how behaviorally challenging kids are being understood and treated, especially in schools and restrictive therapeutic facilities (stories with asterisks were brought to our attention by Lives in the Balance activists). While it's mostly the bad news that makes the headlines, lots of good work is being done by many people in many places on behalf of behaviorally challenging kids and their caregivers. The bad news just tells us there's more work to be done. 


May, 2019
Criminalizing disability: Special-needs kids who don't get help are winding up in jail...Searchlight New Mexico

May, 2019
Use of restraint and seclusion on the rise in Maine schools, advocacy group says...Portland Press Herald

March, 2019
Cops and no counselors: How the lack of school mental health staff is harming students...ACLU

March 8, 2019
Betsy DeVos effort to delay special-ed regulations rejected by court...Washington Post

March 7, 2019
Bristol teachers union joining drive to tighten classroom discipline...Hartford Courant

February 20, 2019
When black students are beaten at school -- and black educators are to blame...Washington Post

February 10, 2019
School shooters: What's their path to violence?...NPR

February 7, 2019
Light oversight on school timeout rooms...NECN Boston

February 7, 2019
Classrooms in crisis: Verbal, physical, sometimes violent outbursts plaguing Oregon classrooms...KGW8

January 17, 2019
U.S. Department of Education announces initiative to address the inappropriate use of restraint and seclusion to protect children with disabilities, ensure compliance with federal laws...U.S. Department of Education

December 18, 2018
Trump officials plan to rescind Obama-era school discipine policies...New York Times

September 24, 2018
The future of restraint and seclusion in schools...The Atlantic

September 10, 2018
U.S. school brings back paddling as punishment...CTV

June 29, 2018
Schools fuel mental health crisis by isolating children in harsh "consequences booths," ministers warned...Independent

May 4, 2018
Governor signs bill banning corporal punishment for disabled students...WSMV

March 18, 2018
Why are black students punished so often? Minnesota confronts a national quandary...New York Times

November 6, 2017
New data reveal 250 preschoolers are suspended or expelled every day...Center for American Progress

October 31, 2017
How can we stem the school-to-prison pipeline?...CITYLAB

October 14, 2017
Judge rules Kentucky county liable for handcuffed children...New York Times

October 4, 2017
UAE bans detentions, downgrading, and mockery as forms of school discipline...Arab News

September 19, 2017
Mother demands answers after son, 8, put in restraints and injected on first day of school...CBC News

September 2, 2017
Don't suspend students. Empathize...New York Times

February 24, 2017
Mississauga mom launches complaint after police handcuff her 6-year old daughter...CBC News

September 21, 2016
Our View: To stop cyle of failure, help Maine's youngest learners...Portland Press Herald

September 13, 2016
Hey teachers, please stop using behavior charts. Here's why...PBS Newshour 

September 8, 2016
ACLU sues KC schools - says bullied child, 7, was handcuffed for crying...Kansas City Star

September 5, 2016
Pre-school suspensions really happen and that's not ok with Connecticut...NPR

August 24, 2016
100,000 American kids still subject to corporal punishment...CBS News

August 24, 2016
A persistent practice: Corporal punishment in in U.S. schools...Education Week 

August 11, 2016
Set to stun...Huffintgon Post

August 4, 2016
How feeling respected transforms a student's relationship to school...PBS Newshour

July 26, 2016
Update to NYC schools discipline code bans suspensions for K-2 students...Education World

July 11, 2016
It takes zero intelligence to still support zero tolerance in schools...Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

June 28, 2016
John King asks charters to lead in rethinking student discipline...The Tennessean

June 9, 2016
Discipline in private special education schools under investigation by California attorney general...EdSource

May, 2016
Kentucky schools to pay $1.75M after child's leg broken...ABC News

May, 2016
Virginia has a school suspension "crisis," report says...Richmond Times Dispatch 

March, 2016
Corporal punishment in North Carolina's public schools: Almost gone and good riddance...NC Child 

November 23, 2015
California has become a nationwide leader in better school discipline practices...Huffington Post 

November 7, 2015
Why some LAUSD teachers are balking at a new approach to discipline problems...Los Angeles Times 

November 6, 2015
Child abuse still permitted in schools...Care2

November 4, 2015
Schoolkids in handcuffs...New York Times 

October 31, 2015
The hidden racism of school discipline, in seven charts...Vox Education 

October 29, 2015
The preschool to prison pipeline: Black kids face punishment as young as 3...Toronto Star 

October 27, 2015
Video of student arrest in South Carolina puts focus on school officers...New York Times 

September 14, 2015
Activists hail new law on school discipline; districts say few changes needed...Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette 

September 4, 2015
Report highlights racial disparities in school discipline -- once again...Southern Poverty Law Center 

August 28, 2015
Five facts everyone should know about the school-to-prison pipeline...Education Week 

August 25, 2015
Illinois governor signs sweeping school discipline reform...Huffington Post 

August 24, 2015
U.S. Schools are too focused on standardized tests, poll says...Washington Post 

July 29, 2015
Miami-Dade school eliminating out-of-school suspensions...StateImpact 

July 15, 2015
Denver is leading the way in dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline. Here's how...Huffington Post 

July 2, 2015
Bad behavior: Critics say kids get away with too much under Madison school district's new policy...CAP Times 

May 15, 2015
Bill that would curb suspensions of youngest public school students clears Senate committee...The Advocate 

April 17, 2015
"I wish my teacher knew":  Poignant notes from students...Washington Post 

March 26, 2015
Backing away from zero tolerance...New York Times 

March 20, 2015
As awareness of the school-to-prison pipeline rises, some schools rethink the role of police...ACLU Blog of Rights

February 13, 2015
Suspension rules altered in New York City's revision of school discipline code...New York Times 

February 11, 2015
Report fauls charter school rules on discipline of students...New York Times 

January 31, 2015
Texas boy suspended for saying he could make classmate 'disappear' with 'Lord of Rings' sorcery...New York Daily News 

January 26, 2015
Debunking school discipline myths...Seattle Times

January 26, 2015
Handcuffs, leg shackles, and tasers:  The new face of punishment in the public schools...The Blaze  

January 23, 2015
UF study condemns physically punishing students, which is still legal in Florida schools...Independent Florida Alligator 

January 22, 2015
To improve school discipline, change teacher behavior...Slate.

January 15, 2015
Big drop in number of California students who are suspended, expelled...Los Angeles Times 

January 15, 2015
Missouri state senator wants to strike down practice of corporal punishment in schools...WDAF-TV Kansas City 

January 14, 2015
Minority, disabled kids hit most by teachers in U.S....Affect Magazine 

December 21 2014
Race debate should include school discipline...USA Today 

December 15, 2014
Suspending kids doesn't fix bad behavior; Schools look for answers...Seattle Times

December 11, 2014
Schools' discipline for girls Differs by race and hue...New York Times 

December 5, 2014
Changing tardiness policies could reduce racial disparities in school discipline, panel says...Tampa Bay Times

November 29, 2014
Why is my child punished?  Finding solutions to uneven discipline in Utah's schools...Deseret News 

November 19, 2014
Charter schools suspend more than traditional schools...Boston Globe

November 19, 2014
Should Arkansas schools still use corporal punishment?...KATV

November 19, 2014
Human toll of school suspensions is devastating...City Newspaper, Rochester, NY

November 18, 2014
Three students earn 10-day suspensions for possession of candy after Halloween...Western Journalism

November 9, 2014
States listen as parents give rampant testing an F...READ the story from the New York Times.

October 26, 2014
Pipeline to prison: Special education too often leads to jail for thousands of American children...Hechingter Report 

July 24, 2014
My son has been suspended five times.  He's 3...Washington Post 

July 7, 2014
Zero tolerance policies are destroying the lives of black children...Washington Post 

June 23, 2014
NYC cops are putting kids on the fast route to prison...Vice News 

June 19, 2014
National data confirm use of restraint and seclusion in public schools...NPR 

June 19, 2014
Violent and legal: The shocking ways school kids are being pinned down, isolated against their will...ProPublica 

June 8, 2014
Protesters want zero tolerance discarded in Ohio schools...Columbus Dispatch 

June 8, 2014
School board votes to keep corporal punishment...The Herald Chronicle 

June 4, 2014
Schools urged to spare the rod on suspensions...Washington Times 

May 29, 2014
Black and Hispanic students punished more severely than white counterparts...Mint Press News 

May 20, 2014
Hundreds march to protest school-to-prison pipeline...Chicagoist 

May 17, 2014
Segregation 2.0: America's school-to-prison pipeline...MSNBC 

April 27, 2014
Local woman advocates to ban paddling in schools...The Steward Houston Times 

April 17, 2014
Students, parents challenge zero-tolerance policies...USA Today

April 10, 2014
Just say no: Grove school board votes 3-2 to deny reinstatement of corporal 

April 3, 2014
Studies confirm the dehumanization of black children and the 'Preschool-to-Prison-Pipeline'...TruthDig

Click here for the many prior Good and Bad News entries for schools.


October 31, 2017
Mom of teen who died at South Carolina juvenile camp demands justice...CBS News

October 10, 2017
Dark secrets of Florida juvenile justice: 'honey-bun hits,' illicit sex, coverups...Miami Herald 

September 1, 2016
Court costs can push kids deeper into justice system, report says...Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

August 14, 2016
The unlikely reason Arkansas' juvenile justice system is behind the times...Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

July 27, 2016
How America's criminal justice system became the country's mental health system*...Vox 

April 12, 2016
Kansas overhalls juvenile justice system, emphasizes community-based reinvestment...Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

August 19, 2015
Watchdog urges ban on placing youth in solitary confinement for over 24 hours...The Globe and Mail

August 14, 2015
Connecticut DCF under scrutiny for illegal use of restraints, isolation in juvenile facilities...WSHU 

May 4, 2015
Lawsuit leads to new limits on solitary confinement in prisons in Illinois...New York Times 

December 16, 2014
End solitary confinement for teenagers...New York Times

April 18, 2014
In CA, an effort to stop locking up truants...Public CEO

March 14, 2014
Feds sue Ohio over seclusion at juvenile jails...Lancaster Eagle Gazette

February 17, 2014
Treatment must be focus for delinquent girls...Sioux City Journal 

July 21, 2013:
Youths isolated and 'forgotten' at the Iowa Juvenile Home...Des Moines Register

Click here for the many prior Good and Bad News entries for restrictive therapeutic facilities


November 7, 2018
Spanking is still really common and still really bad for kids...The Atlantic

July 31, 2015
Drug company accused of altering study by top SickKids pediatrician...Toronto Star

July 1, 2015
Antipsychotics too often prescribed for aggression in children...NPR

March 30, 2015
Hug it out:  Experts warn against physically punishing children...Public News Service 

February 3, 2015
This barber will publicly shame your misbehaving kid with an old man's haircut...Washington Post 

December 21, 2014
ADHD drugs increasingly prescribed to treat hyperactivity in preschoolers...The Guardian 

December 19, 2014
Time's up for 'timeout'...The Atlantic 

December 9, 2014
Harsh punishment For lying compels kids to lie more, for fear of future punishment...Medical Daily

May 1, 2014
Ending corporal punishment: Why you should never spank a 

April 23, 2014
Children admitted to adult psychiatric units despite new rules to cease practice...The Irish Times

November 27, 2013
Kids' psychiatric visits a growing concern...MedPage Today



September 15, 2016
NC schools end corporal punishment in all but two counties...Daily Tar Heel

August 4, 2016
How can 12-year-olds be adults?...Huffington Post

June, 2016
Mum who whipped kid hailed as "model parent"...MSN

January 26, 2015
When the sentence fits the crime but not the kid...Juvenile Justice Information Exchange 

January 5, 2015
The overuse of suspension in American public schools threatens the success of all students...London School of Economics and Political Science

December 22, 2014
The unbelievable rise of single motherhood in America over the last 50 years...Washington Post  

September 21, 2014
Yes, America, we can ban spanking...New York Daily News 

July 20, 2014
Court rules it's "reasonable use of force" for parents to spank their kids...New York Daily News

May 16, 2014
Holder speaks out against solitary confinement of mentally-ill youths...Juvenile Justice Information Exchange 

April 16, 2014
No spanking in schools across missouri under lawmaker's proposal...St. Louis Post Dispatch 

February 18, 2014
First strike: Kansas lawmaker wants to legalize harder spanking of children
...New York Daily News

January 21, 2014
Would new law make it too easy to kick kids out of school for arbitrary reasons? ...Norwalk Reflector