Reforming Juvenile Justice Requires Innovating Equity in Education


Reforming Juvenile Justice Requires Innovating Equity in Education
Ivy T. Bonk
Date published
As many as 85 percent of students in juvenile justice are said to have some type of learning disability (National Council on Disability, 2015). A root cause analysis of indicators across societal systems reveals a pattern or chain of events which lead to this contemptible outcome. A contemptible outcome that represents the detriment of millions of children and families used to feed a cycle that erode the emotional and mental wellbeing not only of individuals, but the societies in which they live; not only erodes emotional and mental wellbeing but stands as a hallmark for the devaluing of human life. A contemptible outcome that must be interrupted. Research and best practices are available to disrupt this alarming statistic and with it reduce the number of students ever becoming systems-involved with juvenile justice. Using a synthesis of research and review of best practices, this article identifies problems, offers insights and strategies for intervention, revealing a solution that could put an end to the school-to-prison pipeline.
Dr. Ivy Bonk, founder at Every Child Whole, is a systems strategist, master synthesizer, and innovator with over two decades of experience in education. Fourteen years ago, as a principal she suspected a correlation between the misdiagnosis of learning disabilities and the symptoms from childhood trauma. Her suspicions led her down a path of inquiry which resulted in a doctorate in Educational Psychology. This awareness of the impact of unaddressed trauma on learning development converging with the fragmentation and incongruence in the education system is what motivates her every day to design and advocate for strategies and solutions to counter the systemic inequity this causes.
Supporting her doctorate in Educational Psychology from Regent University, is an MBA as well as specialty training in Neurosequential Modeling in Education (NME) from the Child Trauma Academy (CTA). In addition to her education and work experience, her passion for systemic reformation has fueled the writing of courses and books including The Day Trauma Came to Class, LOST: Finding My Way Back to a Place I’ve Never Been and Grounded Learning: Education’s Recovery Plan. She is the architect of The Lost Child Theory and Grounded Learning Framework.