Steps to Making Troubled Youth Successful in the Education System

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Steps to Making Troubled Youth Successful in the Education System

By:
Lily Best-Mayko

Rhetoric and Writing Studies 200
Professor Cathy Hoffman
Policy Paper
7 December 2012
Word Count:

Steps to Making Troubled Youth Successful in the Education System Abstract
In schools all over America, there are troubled youth struggling to come to school and stay in class for the entire day. Many of these children are labeled as E.D., or Emotionally Disturbed. Coming from unstable backgrounds, low socioeconomic factors, and abuse or bullying at home and/or school, many of these children struggle their entire lives in the classroom. Distrust and negative relationships of those close by grow discouraging, causing students to give up on themselves. This lack of motivation can be seen in many ways from mild behavioral outbursts and quietly “shutting down” in class to self harm and outright violence at school and at home. Although school districts have been and are currently going through huge budget cuts, it is important that teachers are educated in the correct ways as to effectively help these children become successful. Current special ed/EBD (Emotionally Behaviorally Disturbed) teachers are being schooled to do this, however it is expensive and alternative learning programs are inconsistent. In the future, students will be far more successful, with higher graduation rates and test scores as teachers individualize lessons to serve each student, and enthusiastically guide them to develop necessary skills they will use in the real world.

All across America, there are children struggling to stay in school, because of physical, intellectual or emotional disturbances. Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that almost 15% of students in the United States suffer from some type of learning problem. Some students are so physically disabled from diseases such as Cerebral Palsy, blindness, or deafness, that they cannot function in real life, let alone school. Others have milder learning disabilities that keep them unsuccessful in mainstream classrooms, including ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder), autism, and dyslexia (Melrose). Lastly, there are troubled children, whose lack of motivation comes from outside factors, such as unstable home-lives, socioeconomics, or negative relationships with surrounding people. The common ground for all these children is that they display unruly or disruptive behavior in the classroom for a multitude of reasons. Yet statistics show that nearly 70% of students do not receive the proper help they need (Long 229). In addressing needs for troubled youth, schools should implement policies of reform including individual attention in the classroom, getting each student involved with their personal interests, and building strong positive relationships among teachers, peers, and family. Concession: (need to write, but going to be on budget cuts)

Needs:
The inability to form positive relationships with adults, peers, parents and teachers is a main concern for EBD (Emotionally and Behaviorally Disturbed) students. Children with physical and learning impairments are more likely to feel alienated and outside any social circle. Alone, they do not develop correct social skills for their age, causing them to act inappropriately or awkwardly (Bursztyn 78). Research even shows that even when placed in inclusive settings, behavior does not change, nor do peer acceptance rates (Mears). This withdrawn or out-of-place behavior keeps these students from forming close friendships, and making them far more at risk to get bullied. In one study of over 20,000 students, 15.8% reported cyberbullying and 25.9% reported bullying at school (Schneider). For EBD students, these numbers almost doubled, clearly affecting their ability to focus, their education, and their motivation. Not only are these youth excluded at school, often they are victims of structural violence and neglect at home as well...
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