At Reedley (CA) High School, Suspensions Drop 40%, Expulsions 80% In Two Years

In 2009, when the Kings Canyon Unified School District in California’s rural Central Valley offered its 19 schools the opportunity to adopt a system that would reduce school suspensions and expulsions, Reedley High School jumped at the chance.

Today, Reedley is in its fourth year of changing a zero-tolerance policy that has failed this school and community miserably, just as every zero-tolerance policy across the country has. The school, which has 1,900 students, is feeling its way out of those draconian days by integrating PBIS — Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support — and entering into a unique partnership with the West Coast Mennonite Central Committee and the local police department to implement a successful restorative justice program….

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#ChildTrauma, #Health, #Poverty

We’re All Libertarians

I was looking at internet videos the other day when I came across one of a well-known political pundit talking about libertarians.  His first words described libertarians as a faction of the Republican Party.

And he couldn’t be more wrong.  I’d venture to guess that most every American in their heart is a libertarian, whether you identify with the Democrats, the Republicans, the Tea Party, or the Socialists.  We’re just libertarians in different ways, as we see fit to be….

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#America, #Libertarians, #Politics

The Invisible Monster: Heroin Invades Our Community

Here is a link to a story I wrote about Heroin invading Fargo, ND area and efforts being made on a legislative level to effect social change. The story features two local social workers and lobbyists who lost their son and brother to a heroin overdose and are lobbying for Good Samaritan laws in MN…

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#Addiction, #GoodSamaritanLaw, #PolicyChange, #Suboxone

Schools Should Teach Social Justice Says Teacher’s Union Boss

Education has been under the microscope lately because of a debate surrounding the common core curriculum movement . As many teachers and parents rail against increased standardized testing and inflexible curriculum requirements, the president of the Chicago Teachers Union, Karen Lewis,  is taking this ……

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#Education, #SocialJustice

Got Problems? You’re Normal

Whether you found this blog on your own, or someone happened to send you the link with the suggestion you read it and benefit from it, I’m glad you and it came together and thanks for that. So you’ve got some problems in all likelihood. Some of those problems are small, some big, and maybe you have ones held deep inside like a secret you keep hoping no one will ever expose. …

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#ProblemResolution, #ProblemSolving, #SocialWorkPractice

Solutions To The Heroin & Opiate Epidemic

Why is medication management for the treatment of heroin/opiate addiction scorned by so many? According to a recent Boston Globe article, “Heroin Epidemic Exposes Deficiencies In Care System” (, Ms. Jacobs, Director of Substance Abuse Services for the Commonwealth of ……

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#Addiction, #Heroin

ObamaCare Deadline Nears with Uncertainty

Did you know that the deadline to purchase a healthcare insurance plan through the Affordable Care Act is next Monday, 3/31? Read this important article by Dr. Charles Lewis of CRISP to learn just what this deadline means for millions of Americans…

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#AffordableCareAct, #Policy, #SocialPolicy

Applying For Jobs And Getting Ignored

A major source of frustration for some people is firing off a resume to an employer, waiting for the phone to ring and hearing nothing. I hear this complaint quite often from job seekers I speak to.

My normal response to the people who tell me their frustration with this situation is to request a look at what they are sending the employer in the first place. Sometimes it’s obvious to me within two minutes or less what the real problem is. …

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#Employment, #JobSearchAdvice

Misplacing Blame for the Impoverished

In the Spotlight

Work intended to eliminate poverty must occur on a variety of levels by employing a number of community-driven and informed tactics. Passing legislation and rallying support to fight institutionalized challenges through research and social services are just some of the ways American poverty can be combated.

While the aforementioned methods address issues blockading the alleviation of poverty, a more fundamental challenge continues to inhibit the fight. The challenge lies in the attitudes individuals and groups have towards the poor.  Congressman Paul Ryan’s recent comments at a town hall meeting serve as a prime example of when the use of language, and the presence of a potentially problematic view of the poor, perpetuates the idea that culture contributes to the existence of poverty. …

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#McSilver, #PolicyBrief