Duron Harmon is using his platform – and his pen – to advocate for change in his home state.
This week, Harmon took to The News Journal to voice his support of a House Substitute 1 for House Bill 10, which is currently being considered in the Delaware House of Representatives. The measure would “prohibit the prosecution of children under the age of 12” in juvenile court, as well as prevent children under the age of 16 from being prosecuted in criminal court.
Harmon's op-ed urges both the Delaware House and Senate to pass this bill into law. Children who act out in the classroom deserve compassion and education, he writes, not handcuffs and a court date.
"In Delaware, there are minimum age requirements for driver licenses, tanning beds, alcoholic beverages and R-rated movies. But not for prosecuting young children in juvenile court," Harmon writes. "Arrest, prosecution and court involvement only serve to disrupt a young child's emotional growth, education and ties to their families and communities. Black children, Hispanic children, and children with behavioral and mental health disabilities are disproportionately more likely to be arrested, charged, and criminalized."
This act of speaking out on behalf of students who would be disproportionately affected by the absence of such a law is just another step in a long journey for Harmon. As part of the Players Coalition, Harmon, along with his teammates, like Devin McCourty, Jason McCourty and Matthew Slater, have taken particular interest in leveling the educational playing field for children and criminal justice reform in Massachusetts.
The Patriots have spent hours testifying in front of Massachusetts state officials after visiting an elementary school in Lynn. They wrote an op-ed in The Boston Globe advocating for the Massachusetts state legislature to adjust the formula used to determine funding for schools. They openly championed the PROMISE Act, which was written to adjust the formula to aid underfunded and under-resourced schools. The PROMISE Act passed in fall of 2019.
You can read Harmon's op-ed here.