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Breaking Down School to Prison Pipeline Solutions Life skills have been defined by the World Health Organization as the set of abilities that allow an individual to cultivate adaptive and positive behavior, which will help them to effectively deal with the demands and challenges of everyday life. The World Health Organization has defined life skills as the abilities that will help an individual become adaptable and have the positive outlook in life to hopefully become successful in the future. Incarceration is becoming a huge issue in the United States and experts are pointing out that there is room for classroom life skills to be injected in all curriculum to address this pressing issue. Currently, schools are incorporating their policies with constitutional practices and this approach ends up removing students from their classroom and pushing them into the criminal justice system. This combination of constitutional and school policies are deemed as hazardous to the overall welfare of the students. Because the approach is seen as too stringent, especially to the youth, the majority of activists is calling the abolishment in all educational institutions across the country. Experts are pointing out that the school to prison pipeline not only tramps on the vulnerabilities of the youth, this practice is also causing a strain on the taxpayers’ money and eventually has several negative impacts on the funds of the state. Reportedly, the process of incarcerating a person is more expensive than sending a student to complete K12. In California, for instance, the average cost of incarcerating someone is $62,396 whereas only $9,194 is allocated to every student in K12.
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Critics are pointing out that there are several alternatives to this school to prison pipeline approach and that injecting life skill courses as part of the curriculum is a more humane method. Youth advocates across the country are in agreement that these courses should be included as part of the teaching, especially in high school where the majority of juvenile delinquency begins to manifest. Drug education is one of the things that is tackled in life skills high school and it highlights the impact of illegal drugs to their lives and the people around them. Instead of suspending students for their violations, educational institutions are also practicing restorative justice, which allows the resolution of student conflicts through conversations. The session also includes the parents of both students and the school counselor.
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As pointed out by experts, classroom life skills is not only a gentler approach but also a more inclusive technique as it involves the parents of the students. Not only will parents get to be part of the lives of their children, they will also get to influence them in emotionally and address any nagging issues they might have. By addressing the attitude and injecting the right knowledge, juvenile delinquency is prevented.