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Our Lady of the Angels (OLA) School Fire, December 1, 1958

"No Disposable Kids"
Image of the book No Disposable Kids by Larry K. Brendtro, PhD, Arlin Ness, MSW, LLD, and Martin Mitchell, EdD
by Larry K. Brendtro, PhD, Arlin Ness, MSQ, LLD, and Martin Mitchell, EdD
Published: 2001
Publisher: Sopris West
    4093 Specialty Place
    Longmont, CO 80504
    ISBN: 1-57035-451-0
Out of print
May still be available on Amazon.com
via Amazon Marketplace Sellers

Reviews of No Disposable Kids
From the back cover:
Educational literature is replete with evidence that the most respected, effective educators are those who treat students respectfully. Yet, current educational and juvenile justice systems rely greatly on punishment and “power over” strategies - especially when faced with youths whose severe behaviors escalate to violence.

No Disposable Kids - based on the authors' groundbreaking work at Starr Commonwealth with court-ordered youths - challenges the notion of any child being “too far gone” to be helped. The authors provide profound insight into the world of these youths, not only sharing stragegies drawn from the best of resilency models (including the CCDO, Circle of Courage, and Re-ED), but also illustrating their successful use with actual cases. By reframing rebellious acts as signs of resilience, the authors uncover the natural self-righting tendancies of youths who are progressing toward normal adult development, despite adverse circumstances.

Webmaster note:
In 1962, the boy suspected of starting the OLA fire was sent by order of the Family Court to Starr Commonwealth, a home for troubled youth located in Michigan. Although the court had dismissed the charge of setting the OLA fire for lack of evidence, the boy was convicted of setting other fires in Cicero.

Each chapter of the book starts by telling more of Tony's story (the authors use the pseudonym “Tony” for the alleged arsonist), followed by a broader discussion of similar behavior problems some kids develop. It then outlines successful strategies for dealing with these difficult kids, including actual cases from their work at Starr Commonwealth.