Transforming the Special Education School-to-Prison Pipeline

Learn about juvenile justice, special ed, behavior, bias, trauma-informed and restorative practices.

The “School-to-Prison Pipeline” refers to policies and practices that push students out of classrooms and into the juvenile criminal justice system. The prevalence of youth with disabilities in juvenile corrections is 3 to 5 times greater than youth without disabilities. 85% of youth in juvenile detention facilities have special education qualifying disabilities. However, only 37% of those youth actually received special education support. Failure of school districts to adequately train administrators and educators to address challenging behaviors coupled with zero tolerance creates an over-dependence on referring students to law enforcement or juvenile court as a form of discipline. Students with disabilities served by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) represent 25% of students arrested and referred to law enforcement, even though they only represent 12% of the overall student population. We can and must do better to address this issue.

This no-cost, solutions-focused training reviews:

  • What the Special Education School-to-Prison Pipeline is;
  • Who youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) are;
  • Why behavior and transformation matter;
  • How restorative practices and a trauma-informed approach can change a youth's life; and
  • An educator and law enforcement perspective via guest speakers of how we can partner together for successful outcomes.

What to expect:

  • Video slide-based lecture format;
  • The THINK+change team and guest speakers as your trainers;
  • Over 1.5 hours of content over three lessons;
  • Closed captioning in English and Spanish subtitles;
  • Multiple downloadable tools to help you be successful; and
  • Downloadable Certificate of Participation.

Who should take this course:

  • Parents;
  • School district teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, and school resource officers (SRO); and
  • Local law enforcement agency personnel.

This presentation made possible by the Colorado Restorative Justice Coordinating Council.

Your Instructor

THINK+change Team
THINK+change Team

THINK+change offers solutions-focused training and education that change knowledge, attitude, and behavior to ultimately improve the quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). THINK+change is a training and education program of The Arc of Aurora which was incorporated in 1975 as an advocacy organization for people with IDD. Since the inception of THINK+change in 2017, the education program has been a trailblazer in disability education and has trained and brought together thousands of people with IDD, their families, and the professionals in their lives who want to keep up with trends and developments in the disability field and grow professionally. All people with disabilities deserve respect and deserve better.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts upon enrollment and will be available for you to re-take whenever you wish. It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like for the life of the training.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied contact us:

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