New partnership aims to increase graduation rates and decrease crime

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/ WMGT) – Bibb County is switching up their disciplinary actions to help keep students on the path to success.

“Anything we can do to help prevent crimes in the community, it’s going to help us in the schools as well,” Bibb County School District Assistant Superintendent of Student Affairs Jamie Cassady said

The Bibb County School District, Juvenille Court System and law enforcement are all joining forces for the Macon-Bibb County Schools-Justice Partnership Agreement.

“It’s not just their being belligerent. They have a reason for what’s behind this. What’s going on at home? We’ll find out and treat that underlying system,” Macon-Bibb District Attorney David Cooke said.

County officials say the partnership will help raise graduation rates and decrease crime.

By connecting students to community programs, Cooke says they will be able to separate the kids who teachers and school resource officers are mad at, from the one’s bringing potential harm to the community.

“That’s really a win/win that makes the students more successful and gives them a brighter future and it makes the community safer at the same time,” Cooke said.

A new referral that school resource officers at every school will have to fill out breaks it down to the action, aggravating and mitigating factors. Then it has check boxes for community programs.

Instead of heading to court, the student can take a different route.

“What’s causing these young men to act the way they do and provide support to them through the community, through the schools, to hopefully fix some of the issues,” Cassady said.

Cooke says each juvenile incarceration decreases graduation rates and those who stay in school, are less likely to drop out.

“We’ll have more students succeeding, more students going to technical schools, to college, or to the military and they’ll come back better trained,” Cooke said.

This will now allow judicial entities to concentrate on the more dangerous offense.

The new agreement is implemented for the new school year starting August 1st.

Categories: Bibb County, Education, Local News

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