In 1995, the 74th Texas Legislature enacted significant legislation affecting the way education and juvenile justice systems respond to violent and disruptive students in public schools. Chapter 37: Discipline; Law and Order of the Texas Education Code, codified the Texas plan to make schools safe, to reduce the dropout rate, to curtail juvenile crime, and to increase students' chances of success.
District and county officials have long recognized that children who are left behind in the educational system are deprived of skills and socialization essential for future success. Most also agree that students who are expelled are more likely to engage in delinquent behavior resulting in increased costs to society both now and in the future. This recognition has resulted in an extraordinary level of collaboration between the county’s nine independent school districts, the County of Galveston, and Galveston area service providers. The Galveston County JJAEP exemplifies our community's commitment to the education of all students.
The mission of the Galveston County Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program is to provide a quality education by:
- creating a safe school environment that supports the teaching and learning environment;
- assisting students on developing attitudes and behaviors essential to becoming well adjusted adults who are able and willing to continue to positively contribute to the general welfare of our society;
- providing an instructional program that results in a level of student progress that exceeds one year increase in academic performance in the areas of reading and math for one year of instruction; and
- providing a course of instruction, which prepares the student to perform at grade level.
Students assigned to the Galveston County Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program are subject to a regimented daily schedule. Students are required to arrive at 0730 at which time they are searched, assembled in formation, inspected by the drill instructors, and provided group and one on one encouragement to start the day. This high level of discipline is maintained throughout the day until the students are released at 1500 hours.
Dress code and grooming requirements are stringent. Students are required to adhere to a standardized dress code and to present themselves in a neat and orderly fashion at all times. Students have the opportunity to earn the privilege of wearing jewelry, when they have demonstrated consistent compliance with program rules, policies, and procedures. Male JJAEP students are required to maintain a bald fade style haircut. Female JJAEP students must also be neatly groomed with hair held up off the collar with an inconspicuous tie that is transparent or similar in color to the hair. Cosmetics and fingernail polish are not authorized until the student has earned that privilege unless required for medical purposes.
JJAEP students are expected to attend all classes daily and on time; respect the right of the teacher to teach and other students to learn; to conform to the dress code; and to conduct them selves in a responsible manner. Students are further expected to abide by the law; accept responsibility for their actions; show respect for adults and those persons holding positions of authority, take part in all activities when directed to do so; to not use alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs; to avoid fights and assaults to the best of their ability; to not lie, cheat, steal nor tolerate those who do; to do their best to improve themselves each day; follow directions without delay; comply with all instructions and assignments; interact positively with peers; interact positively with staff; and to accept the consequences of misbehavior. The JJAEP program employs both incentives and deterrents to modify student behavior. Incentives include public acknowledgement of exemplary performance, attainment of privileges, participation in field trips and special activities, early release, and other motivational rewards. Penalties for misbehavior include student conferences, loss of privileges, extra physical training, extra supervised instruction after school (e.g., cleaning details, pulling weeds, painting designated areas, and extra physical training) and placement in detention.