Deverick knows how his life could have turned out if he hadn’t stuck with his studies: prison, drugs, or even death. Instead, he became a star on the Baltimore Urban Debate League team and went on to college. Now he coaches students like Kaela, who often come from complicated lives but are striving to be successful academically.
Many students, especially those in areas with a high degree of crime, like Baltimore, are pushed out of the classroom by “zero-tolerance” policies and into the juvenile justice system. These approaches harm all students, particularly children of color, students with disabilities and students identifying as LGBT.
Research shows that creating safe, nurturing learning environments where students can succeed helps divert the path away from negative outcomes. The Baltimore Urban Debate League helps students develop meaningful interactions with adults in their schools in addition to finding their own voice and expressing themselves.
Camera and sound: Errol Webber
Editing: Lauren Frohne
Producers: Lauren Frohne and Maria Archuleta
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This week, I declare victory on a long-fought battle. Getting this video published was among the greatest challenges so far in my time here at OSF. I won’t get into the details, but I’ll say that I’m proud of how it turned out. It’s come a long way.
Check out the post on the Open Society site : Is Harsh School Discipline Necessary? That’s Up for Debate
It was filmed by Baltimore-based cinematographer Errol Webber (www.cinnamontography.com), who did a nice job capturing moments as well as compelling scenes and well-composed interview set-ups. I edited it over the course of a couple months. The end result was a great indirect collaboration.