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School Safety
Not long after National Women’s Law Center released their Dresscoded report, DC City Council voted to limit the use of exclusionary discipline in traditional public and public charter schools.

In Pennsylvania, the organization Southwest PA Says No More released a video series featuring local high school students discussing their views on sexual harassment in school. Black Girls Equity Alliance in Pittsburgh is pushing Pittsburgh Public Schools to improve its sexual harassment prevention and response.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told a Congressional committee that schools can decide whether to call U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement if they suspect their students are undocumented. A new book by Rachel Devlin, A Girl Stands at the Door, explores how black girls led the work to challenge school segregation in the 1940s-1960s.

And Safety Everywhere Else, Too 
“For Jerhonda Pace, who last summer accused musician R. Kelly of abusing her when she was a minor, watching #MeToo take down powerful men has been bittersweet. ‘What about R. Kelly’s victims? What about us? Nothing happened for us.'”

Girls for Gender Equity is housing the future of the ‘me too.’ movement: “This summer, the me too. movement and Girls for Gender Equity are launching an online community for survivors, allies, and advocates to provide resources for healing, preventative measures for communities, and more so that we can all live in a safer world.” Watch young women from Girls for Gender Equity and Young Women’s Initiatives from around the country speak at the 2018 United State of Women Summit.

A a treatment facility for girls in Texas was raided following complaints of neglect, improper supervision, and physical and sexual abuse.

A Tennessee Parole Board considering Cyntoia Brown’s case was divided on its recommendations for clemency; Governor Haslam, who has not yet granted any clemency petitions, will make the final decision. Rights4Girls responded to the decision, saying: “Cyntoia’s case reveals what #MeToo looks like for our most vulnerable girls—girls who have been failed by our systems and our society, who are then forced to take their safety into their own hands.”

Periods, Policy, and Practice
Students at Noble Charter schools in Chicago have shared that strict dress code and other disciplinary policies at Noble Charter schools in Chicago can allegedly prevent girls from accessing bathrooms during their period or make it hard for students to conceal bloodstains. Students at one school pushed for a change to the dress code policy, which mandated students wear khaki pants: “Nadia Segura, 19, and Priscilla Bautista, 18, told Vox that it was necessary not because of school bathroom policies but because teenagers’ periods can be unpredictable and stains show easily on khaki pants.”

Seventeen-year-old Zakirah White writes about “period poverty” in VOX ATL. And Amanda Randone writes about having your period during Ramadan in Teen Vogue.

Reproductive Justice
Kids In Need of Defense released a new report on the Trump administration’s policies regarding unaccompanied children: “The ORR Director has also placed new restrictions on girls’ access to reproductive healthcare. The agency suggested that girls who wanted access to services they could not get while detained should abandon their cases, and accept voluntary departure from an immigration judge so that they may attempt to access services in their country of origin.”

Mamas Day project is “working to ensure that Black mamas have the right, respect, resources, and recognition to thrive.”

Iowa signed into law one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, banning abortion at about six weeks of pregnancy. An Iowa judge has placed a temporary injunction on the law, which was slated to take effect on July 1.

“I Just Feel Kind of Forgotten”
For National Foster Care Month, Teen Vogue partnered with the Juvenile Law Center on a new series: “Fostered or Forgotten.” Articles include:

  • “Foster Care Forced Me to Conceal My Identity as a Queer, Black, Muslim Person” by Lucina Kayee, a 22-year-old former foster child and co-founder of MY Generation Youth Advocacy Program
  • “I Was a Foster Child and Now I’m a Foster Care Activist” by Tanisha Saunders
  • “The Foster Care System Has Failed Native American Youth” by Ruth Hopkins
  • “How Immigration Status and Foster Care Are Connected” by Elizabeth Yaeger

A new investigation by the Post and Courier, “Fostering Failure,” explores what happens to young people after they age out of South Carolina’s foster care system.

Twenty-three-year-old Ann Campbell reflects on her experiences being homeless as a teenager and how it informed her advocacy to raise the age of care for foster youth in Georgia. Lauren Lee White writes about California’s foster-care-to-homelessness pipeline.

Attorneys are suing the Florida Department of Children and Families: “hundreds of children have had more than 10, or even 20 or more, moves. More than over 25 kids have been moved more than 80 times.”

Colorado signed House Bill 1319 into law, allowing counties to use child welfare money on foster care for young folks ages 18-21. Previously these funds were restricted to young people under the age of 18.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is pushing backagainst a report released last month that “calculated the pregnancy rate in state foster care for the first time and found the teens were nearly five times as likely as their peers to get pregnant.”

Texas accounts for 15% of the $556 million in total federal funding distributed to states through an adoption incentive program. What may be a contributing factor? “Texas terminates the rights of more parents, by far, than any state in the union.”

Juvenile Justice
California: “Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer officially requested $100 million in budgetary dollars to launch a ‘Youth Reinvestment Fund’ aimed at improving outcomes for juvenile justice system-involved youth through trauma-informed diversion and community-based services.”

Florida: Girls in juvenile detention in Florida share their experiences in a new book, This is Ours: Martin Girls Academy, produced by the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center.

Louisiana: “A 19-year-old victim of sex trafficking was arrested in November 2014, shortly after giving birth to her daughter. She had failed to appear at a hearing during her pregnancy because she was supposed to be on bed rest and had a doctor’s note to prove it. Even so, she was held in jail for nearly four months until she testified against the father of her child.”

Massachusetts: There is a push to raise the age for juveniles — last raised to 18 in 2013.

New York: “Incorrigibles” is a transmedia project that tells the stories of “incorrigible” girls in the United States (based on personal narratives of girls involved in the juvenile justice system) over the last 100 years – starting with New York State.

Texas: After decades of abuse allegations, the juvenile justice department released a new set of goals and plans for reform, including the long-term goal of having a “foundation in trauma-informed care.”

Wisconsin: A settlement will “end the use of pepper spray, greatly restrict solitary confinement and reduce strip searches” in juvenile facilities.

New OJJDP data: “Characteristics of Delinquency Cases Handled in Juvenile Court in 2015.”

New Research
Diagnoses of major depression have risen 65% for girls since 2013 — more than double the already dramatic rise for U.S. residents overall (33%). Rowan Blanchard talks about how teenagers are redefining the conversation around depression.

new publication in Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment finds that “Multidimensional Family Therapy is a promising alternative to residential treatment for youth with substance use and co-occurring disorders” – results that “challenge the prevailing assumption that adolescents who meet criteria for residential treatment cannot be adequately managed in a non-residential setting.”

study from Case Western Reserve suggests boys and girls have different reasons for engaging in risky sexual behavior, which authors say “points to the need for youth programs that engage boys and girls separately, and include treatment for youth who have experienced trauma.”

A new Research-to-Impact brief by the University of Chicago: “The high percentage of youth experiencing homelessness who are pregnant or parenting stands in stark contrast to the dramatic decline in pregnancy and birth rates among both adolescents and young adults in the U.S. over the past two decades.” The authors find that many children are living with young parents who have experienced homelessness, and that relatively few homeless service providers serve minor parents.





“We need to build a world that is for us and by us. Creating and influencing change at different systemic levels has encouraged me to believe that I am capable of making a difference in this world, and I believe in the work that we are doing together and that we will sustain this movement for the betterment of our society and the future.”

Source: Megan Jean Louis, 19, a member of Girls for Gender Equity, at the 2018 United State of Women Summit

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