Police officer

A local non-profit has stepped forward to mediate between parents, police and school districts regarding enforcement of new changes in Missouri’s criminal code that could influence school discipline and law enforcement involvement in school fights.

The Education Exchange Corps (EEC) has an online form for families and school staff throughout the state to report any problems they are encountering with how school fights are treated in 2017. Families who believe their children are improperly charged with felonies for school fights can report their concerns to the EEC, which will act as mediator.

Already, Elad Gross, president of the EEC, has been meeting with school districts and contacting police departments to make sure the changes in law are properly understood.

“After looking closely at the new laws and speaking with officials throughout Missouri, we strongly believe that the new laws do not support increased prosecution of children for school fights,” Gross said. “We must make sure that families, school districts and law enforcement officers know that these laws do not allow kids to be treated differently in 2017 than they were treated in 2016 for school fights.”

For families and others who believe a child is being prosecuted for a felony improperly, they can report the issue to the EEC, and staff members there will work to resolve the situation. School staff can also report issues they see during this process to the EEC.

All reports should be made through the EEC website at www.edexco.org/report. The EEC will contact the reporter, and, potentially, area schools and law enforcement officers, to try to resolve any misunderstandings.

“We’re trying to get accurate information out to families and schools so kids will be protected,” Gross said.

The Education Exchange Corps (www.EdExCo.org) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing underserved children with better educational opportunities.

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