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Giving Young Offenders 2nd Chance Means System-wide Reform

The 5,000 letters students across Connecticut wrote “Miss Kendra” this school year are telling.

“When I get bullied I feel like I mean nothing to the world. I’m just a piece of trash,” Nuresh recently wrote.

“I am always getting angry. Almost everyone makes me super angry,” another elementary student at DiLoretto Magnet School in New Britain wrote the fictitious character created by trauma experts at the Post Traumatic Stress Center in New Haven.

Mental health professionals and teachers are using the letters sent to her to screen students in Bridgeport, New Britain and New Haven before they act out and get arrested or suspended at school.

“The current model we have is to wait and do nothing,” said David Read Johnson, a psychologist at the stress center and the creator of the Miss Kendra program. “This lets them express themselves before it becomes an aggressive behavior.”

These letters are just one of several initiatives aimed at…

Originally posted on The CT Mirror

Read @ The CT Mirror