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Transcripts of Selected Group Discussions on CYC-Net

Since it's founding in 1997, the CYC-Net discussion group has been asked thousands of questions. These questions often generate many replies from people in all spheres of the Child and Youth Care profession and contain personal experiences, viewpoints, as well as recommended resources.

Below are some of the threads of discussions on varying Child and Youth Care related topics.

Questions and Responses have been reproduced verbatim.

ListenListen to this

Excluding children / expulsion / suspension?

Hi All,

I'm looking for some help with citing an author/idea.

When I was in school, I recall reading the idea that:

"We require by law that children attend school, yet when they are incapable of meeting our expectations we exclude them through suspensions and expulsion. "

The idea was that we require them to attend school, but when they struggle, rather than help them we exclude them, and the harm that these mixed messages can cause. I'd like to use this idea more formally in my work, which is why I want to track it down. I have tried looking it up myself without luck.

Any help/leads are appreciated!
Tom Golightly

School to Prison Pipeline is the framework for the article linked to. There is considerable work using this as an analytical point by which to investigate what happens in schools use by way of discipline, how it is inequitably applied to various racialized groups.

Restorative Schools. The next link takes you to the whole body of work done under the Restorative Philosophy umbrella in schools. I don't know where you live but there is section here on what is happening in Ontario Schools.

Peacemaking Circles. Check out the book....Peacemaking Circles and Urban Youth by Carolyn Boyes-Watson. Chronicles a grass-roots agency and centre that utilizes and synergizes the values of the Circle of Courage and Peacemaking Circles, to engage and work on transformation for youth who have been marginalized and excluded from the mainstream....both school discipline and youth justice "victims".

Rick Kelly

Am not sure where you are from but the school Act lays out the expectations and in BC there is even a fine associated with not insuring that your child is being appropriately schooled.




Take a look at article 42 of the Irish Constitution (you will find it on the Irish Government web-site) if you want an international angle on requirements for education.

It basically says that children should receive a basic minimum education but that does not have to be in a school established by the state, and the state shall not oblige a family 'in violation of their conscience' to send a child to a school established by the state. So in Ireland the issue is not whether or not kids go to school, it is whether or not they get an education!

In my view, school doesn't suit all kids but in care practice we often get into unnecessary struggles trying to force something that in inevitably going to end in confrontation and failure, rather then just going with the resistance and teaching the child what he wants to learn when he wants to learn it (within reason).

As a home educating parent of three kids I have a particular interest in formal vs informal education.

John Byrne


If you look up “compulsory school attendance” you will see that this matter is prescribed pretty generally by the state (at central government level, or at state or provincial levels) in most countries. I suppose that one reason for this is that the state doesn’t want to create or allow another whole category of people who must somehow be provided for during school hours.

The quote in the example given does sound rather peremptory, yet in important issues it probably is necessary to make it clear that a rule or law simply has to be obeyed. The fact that it is made a state law like this also lets the schools off the hook with regard to their having to make alternative provision for yet another category of children.

However, things like school refusal and truancy are also already widely recognized as being related to certain groups of children (e.g. those who are unconfident, underachieving, indigent, inadequately parented, anti-social or delinquent) and thus are already referred to school staff or state departments who are manned by more clinically trained personnel who will attempt to lead a child to better manage the requirements of school and society. Simply to exclude, suspend or expel these kids serves only to make their position worse, adding rejection and punishment to their already heavy burden.

In my experience, many Child and Youth Care workers (and certainly also teachers and other school staff) are already assigned to work with greater acceptance and encouragement with these children and youth like this … and already planted in my mind is the idea that some writing on this issue has a place in journals like CYC-Online and in discussion groups like CYC-Net’s.

Brian Gannon

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