In response to last year's mass shooting on South Capitol Street in southeast Washington, the D.C. Council is looking at overhauling how the city screens and treats young people with behavior problems.
There are two key parts to the sweeping legislation authored by Council member David Catania. The first part looks at how the city identifies young people with mental health and behavioral health problems and would require more stringent screening and training for teachers.
The other part tackles truancy, which can be an indicator of trouble down the road, Catania said. It would tighten the rules on the books regarding unexcused absences and would give schools and parents more resources.
Some childhood advocates testified before the council about the initiative. They offered overall support and made several recommendations for the measure.
Also testifying was Nardine Jeffries, who lost her 16-year-old daughter, Brishell Jones, in the shooting. Jeffries said she supports the overhaul and believes early prevention is the key to stopping violence.
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