As Topeka Public Schools continues to work with local partners in addressing the School to Prison Pipeline, we have joined with the Topeka Police Department, the Kansas Children's Service League and the Shawnee County Department of Corrections to help address any school based behavior referals that may be directed to law enforcement or the juvenile justice system. The MOU is geared to reduce such referrals and protect public safety. A secondary goal of the MOU is to foster postitive police/youth engagement within primary and secondary public schools within Topeka Public Schools.
Topeka Public Schools – Juvenile Justice Memorandum of Understanding
- Reduce the referral of school-based behaviors to law enforcement or the juvenile justice system;
- Foster positive police/youth engagement within primary and secondary public schools; and
- Avoid unnecessary criminalization of district students.
- Top Priority
- Safety of students and staff
- Expectations of ALL
- All staff are expected to help diffuse and/or assist in a crisis.
- Work together to ensure the learning opportunities of all students are fostered through a safe and secure environment.
- Each building should have a basic plan for safe interventions and a working understanding the Juvenile Justice MOU.
- Expectations of School Staff
- Low-level school-based offenses should be referred to school administration and handled through the student code of conduct.
- When disruptions occur, school staff should contact their school administrator first. School administration will assess the situation and determine if and when law enforcement should be contacted.
To read the full MOU, click here.
Ways officers can assist in the school setting in a variety of ways, including teacing on subjects including:
- Traffic Safety
- Gun Safety
- Talking to Strangers
- Police Interaction with Young People
- Traffic Laws
In addition, to teaching lessions, officers routinely visit classrooms and schools where they have the chance to interact with students and read to them.