17:416.17    Youth development and assistance programs;  legislative findings and purpose;  school authority for programs for elementary students


A. (1) The legislature finds that early identification and intervention of aggressive, antisocial, or delinquent behaviors are critical components in recognizing and preventing chronic juvenile delinquency in later years.


(2) The legislature further finds that school-based preventive interventions for violent or aggressive behavior in youth are recognized as beneficial to the overall developmental success of students.


(3) The legislature recognizes that the introduction of violence prevention strategies in the early elementary grades may reduce the incidence of delinquent behaviors in the later grades, especially when such programs include parental involvement in the prevention and intervention strategies.


(4) The purpose of this Section is to authorize elementary schools to develop prevention and intervention strategies to address disruptions and violence in schools to create safe school environments in which teachers can teach and students can learn and which increase student and family connectedness to the school.


B. A school may, upon approval of its governing authority, develop and offer youth development and assistance programs that employ violence prevention and intervention initiatives for students in kindergarten and the elementary grades.  Such programs shall provide for early identification of and support for students who are at risk before their behavior escalates into aggression or disruption, disciplinary problems, or juvenile delinquency.


C. (1) A youth development and assistance program may consist of age- or grade-appropriate alternative classrooms during school or special intervention or prevention programs before, after, or during the school day.


(2) Such programs may include but shall not be limited to the following components:


(a) Provision of services for students including behavioral training and intervention techniques that promote cooperation and enhance interpersonal and conflict resolution skills, peer mediation, anger management, bullying prevention, life skills training, mentoring, counseling, and tutoring programs that improve academic achievement.


(b)(i) Provision of services which support the parents of students identified with behavioral needs that may need intervention or support.    Such parent services may include literacy services or parental training.


(ii) Required participation of any parent of a student so identified in such intervention at the school or other designated facility.


(c) Collaboration with community-based organizations, including but not limited to youth services, civic, social services, mental health, volunteer services, and juvenile justice agencies.


D. The provisions of this Section shall be implemented upon the approval of each city, parish, or other local public school board of any program submitted by a school and the availability of funds to a school for such purpose.


Added by Acts 2001, No. 786, ยง 1, eff. June 26, 2001.