We had a good meeting to introduce the JRB concept to school representatives from the communities we will be working with. The only issue that came up was with the Superintendent. He did not seem to understand the legal authority of a JRB. When I explained that JRBs can be a great resource for a school dealing with truancy, as students can be referred for truancy rather then sent to juvenile court as a FWSN, he said that he was not familiar with a law that would allow that method of diversion. Any supporting information you could provide him would be wonderful.I assume that the Superintendent's hesitation involves the issue of the school's ability to share student information with the JRB. If that's his concern, the simple answer to his question is that the diversion of a case to the JRB is completely voluntary. It is an option that is offered to the family rather than having the matter referred to the juvenile court. As a condition of the diversion, the family would agree to the release of school records to the JRB for the purposes of handling the case and would sign the appropriate release form. The JRB process and records are also confidential and are destroyed at some point after the process is complete. If the family does not wish to authorize the school to release the records to the JRB, that is their choice. In that situation, the school should consider referring the matter to the court.
In your particular case, you might suggest that your Superintendent speak with his counterpart in a school system where there is a successful JRB program to see how his issues have been resolved.
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