Judge Steven Teske

Law Enforcement Forced Into Role Confusion in Schools

“What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”

The captain, a prison warden, uttered these words in the movie classic “Cool Hand Luke” after beating Luke with a whip for his stubborn disobedience.

These words describe the underlying cause of the South Carolina classroom altercation resulting in the firing of a deputy.

Judge Steven Teske

For Not Shackling Kids to Work, Adults Must Behave

To shackle, or not to shackle — that is the question seldom asked in many juvenile courts. The indiscriminate shackling of kids during courtroom proceedings begs the question: Why are we hostile toward our children? What does it say about us as a nation that we are inclined toward slapping cold, hard, metallic handcuffs, leg irons and waist chains on children without asking one simple question: Is the child a serious risk of fight or flight? How can we arbitrarily dispense with asking this simple question while simultaneously preaching the virtues of due process that are so imbedded in our values and beliefs? We swore to protect the constitutional right to presumption of innocence — yet we parade children into our courtrooms shackled like animals.

Judge Steven Teske

OP-ED: Reformers Must Be As Militant As the Purposely Ignorant

Like the nonresponsive kids, there will always be nonresponsive adults who reject the best practices approach. They suffer from “militant ignorance,” or a conscious disregard of the truth to avoid a universal truth — that everyone sins. To acknowledge this truth is to acknowledge their own imperfection.