Purpose: This paper identifies the issue of the overuse of disciplinary policies in public schools and the negative outcomes, especially for minority students.
Methodology: The design was structured by the professor’s subheadings: student’s personal experience, research, valid resources, application to proposed solution, actual evidence-based solution, alternative solutions not chosen, assumptions, barriers, feasibility of solution, and change in social reaction over time.
Findings: The proposed solution is adaptation of the School Responder Model (SRM) to involve the youths’ school, community, family, and peers for enabling youth to be diverted from school suspension or police involvement.
Research limitations: Limitations include sufficient community volunteers as mentors, training of these mentors, and willingness of the youth to participate fully.
Practical implications: With the SRM model, the youth remain in school, family involvement is encouraged, mentors are provided as positive role models, and peers may be positively influenced.
Social implications: Social implications include fewer youth entering the juvenile justice system, likely incarceration, and, alternatively, youth developing a positive commitment to school toward graduation.
Originality: The solution is original and valuable for the diversion of delinquent youth to remedial, restorative programs rather than their experiencing the cycle of punishment and possible reoffending. Based on the SRM, the solution should prevent harsh school punishment and justice involvement and enable youth to gain needed services to help them receive the mental health services they need.
Keywords: juvenile justice, discipline, public schools, School Responder Model, vulnerable youth