Subscribe to get “Centering Girls in Systems Change” in your inbox.

IN BRIEF

Right to Exist
The New York Times reported that the Trump administration is planning to establish a legal definition of gender under Title IX, “defining gender as a biological, immutable condition.” GLSEN responded, “to claim that this proposal has anything to do with science, objectivity, and the requirements of effective administration is a vicious lie.” Transgender Law Center wrote, “Here, written out plain, is their attempt to erase our very existence as transgender people. This memo reveals that this administration intends nothing short of our destruction.”

Eighteen-year-old Sage Grace Dolan-Sandrino interviewed trans youth for an op-ed responding to reported proposal. Alicia Roth Weigel writes on how the proposed changes to gender definition affect intersex people.

School Safety
publication by Dierdre Glenn Paul and Jacqueline Araneo looks at the disproportionate school discipline black girls experience in New Jersey and how it has worsened over time. Legal Aid Justice Center released Suspended Progress 2018, an updated report on “the state of exclusionary discipline and alternative education in Virginia’s public schools.” And a new report by ProPublica and the New York Times shows a severe achievement gap between black and white students in Charlottesville, VA since 2005.

(Editor note: we’ll be in Virginia on Saturday for the Let Her Learn community forum to stop the pushout of black girls in Virginia schools. You can watch live here.)

In New York City, Girls for Gender Equity launched the Schools Girls Deserveinitiative calling for “equal protection for all NYC students through the enhancement of Title IX”; and Teens Take Charge is working to desegregate city schools and make students’ voices heard.

New research looks at the impact of school staff attitudes and perceptions on the implementation of intervention strategies to prevent bullying of LGBTQ students in rural areas.

Election Impact
The Chronicle of Social Change has a breakdown of how Tuesday’s elections could impact child welfare and juvenile justice; and the results of ballot initiatives impacting youth and their families. These changes include new leadership of the House Ways and Means Committee (oversight over Family First Prevention Services Act implementation), the Judiciary Committee (unaccompanied minor policies) and the Education and the Workforce Committee (“Rep. Bobby Scott is probably the most staunch advocate for juvenile justice in the House, and he stands to take the gavel for this committee”)

A new governor in Wisconsin could mean changes for the planning of if/how to replace the two juvenile facilities slated for closure in the state. “YJM and other advocacy groups would like to see the plan focus on community-based alternatives to incarceration, with minimal new construction of secure facilities.”

Massachusetts voted Yes on Question 3: “After two years of dispiriting and horrific attacks on transgender youth, this historic victory sends them a resounding message of love, support, and care.”

A juvenile court judge in Harris County, TX responded to his electoral loss by releasing almost every young person on his docket from pre-trial detention. “The long-time Republican jurist is one of two judges whose track record of favoring incarceration contributed heavily to doubling the number of kids Harris County sent to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department in recent years.”

Is there an election result in your community that signals a shift for girls or gender nonconforming youth in your community? Please let us know by responding to this email.

Juvenile Justice
A new interactive data visualization by Pew Charitable Trusts shows a state-by-state breakdown of youth in residential placement for status offenses or technical violations. National Crittenton replicated Pew’s analysis looking specifically at girls. Among the results: in West Virginia, nearly 80% of girls in residential placement are there due to a status offense or technical violation.

Rights4Girls and the Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality Initiative on Gender Justice and Opportunity published “I Am the Voice: Girls’ Reflections from Inside the Justice System.

“A video clip of police in Coral Springs, Florida, appearing to hit a 14-year-old girl while she was restrained on the ground is going viral — and the girl’s family is reportedly taking action.”

The Washington State Supreme Court ruled juvenile life without parole sentences are unconstitutional. The court also ruled that youth in the state’s foster care system are not entitled to legal representation in dependency court.

“A new report from The Fenway Institute and the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights identifies best practices in the management of lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, questioning, and intersex (LGBTQI) youth in juvenile justice settings. The report notes that LGBT youth are overrepresented in the juvenile justice system, especially lesbian and bisexual girls and youth of color.”

An article by DeAnna Baumle builds upon the sexual-abuse-to-prison pipeline “to develop the trauma-to-prison pipeline, describing how the juvenile justice system criminalizes girls because of their experiences of multiple and intersecting forms of trauma, including trauma resulting from the structural forces of racism and poverty.”

new study explores the perceptions juvenile correctional staff have of incarcerated boys and girls: “Views of staff about the gendered attributes of the youth they supervise have the potential to shape the gender identities and beliefs of boys and girls in ways that reproduce gender stereotypes and norms, which may impact rehabilitation and treatment.”

new analysis from Bellwether Education Partners finds that education within the juvenile justice system does not meet the needs of students and fails to prepare them for success outside of juvenile detention. Melissa A. Kowalski studied “the effect of trauma and programming on different recidivistic outcomes” for justice-involved youth with trauma histories. Sean Cahill writes about how the juvenile justice system fails LBGTQ youth.

“Policymaking By Erasure” at OJJDP
In an op-ed for the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, Brian Goldstein writes that OJJDP is “rolling back juvenile justice data collection, rescinding manuals on best practices and changing policy language.”

OJJDP announced a reorganization of the agency, including the removal of divisions with a focus on “system improvement” and “youth development” and the creation of new divisions including a “special victims and violent offenders division.” Advocates (including National Crittenton) have expressed strong concerns about the implications of these changes — like the impact of a creating a “violent offenders” division when data shows that “violent crimes are just not that common for girls or for boys” — for example, “about 3% of all female arrests in 2015 were for a violent crime.”

Sunlight Foundation reported last month that OJJDP removed the “girls at risk” page from their website. Jeannette Pai-Espinosa responded in JJIE about how that erasure reflects OJJDP decision-making: “the page had been taken down by July — well before the deadline for OJJDP to offer us the third-year renewal of our NGI cooperative agreement. Receiving no formal notice, our agreement simply ended on Sept. 30, leaving us to conclude that the National Girls Initiative would not be continued.”

Child Welfare
Mariah Gladstone writes on the historical significance of the Indian Child Welfare Act in keeping Native families together: “Prior to the passage of ICWA, approximately 75-80 percent of Indian families living on reservations lost at least one child to the foster care system.”

In the Bay Area, three out of every four youth who are homeless were formerly involved in the foster care system, the juvenile justice system, or both according to a report by the Bay Area Legal Group.

“The Chronicle of Social Change just launched Who Cares: A National Count of Foster Homes and Families, a data and reporting project looking at the changes in the number of non-relative homes as well as reliance on relatives and congregate care.”

OPPORTUNITIES

Call for proposals: National Crittenton invites proposals for sessions at In Solidarity We Rise 2019 taking place May 9-11, 2019 in Atlanta, GA. Proposals are due December 1st.

Learn about Girls For A Change’s Girl Ambassador program on November 17.

WATCH

BOOKMARKS

UPCOMING

TAKE NOTE

“The administration has continuously made their disregard for trans lives apparent. My gender is a fluid and chaotic mess that just so happens to be different from my sex assigned at birth. I deserve to be acknowledged. I deserve to be validated. I exist.”

Source: 18-year-old Ose Arheghan of Ohio, in Teen Vogue

Subscribe to get “Centering Girls in Systems Change” in your inbox.