The pandemic shines a light on just how many school-related infractions end with children in the juvenile justice system

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NC Health News on 3/14/2022 by Elizabeth Thompson

When schools shut down at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, juvenile delinquency complaints decreased. Here’s what it means — and what it doesn’t.

As a former district court judge, state Rep. Marcia Morey has seen firsthand how children can get entangled in the state’s juvenile justice system.

The path from school to the courtroom is similar for many kids, Morey said. They skip school, break the rules or act out in class, prompting a visit from the school resource officer. However, Morey says these are often children with learning disabilities or who come from “dire” home situations.

They need help, not punishment. But their cries for help too often become crimes.