Three recommendations for Joe Biden's Gun Task Force
….We see school attacks such as Newtown in the context of a broader culture that endorses force and violence as the way of resolving disputes, including war, urban violence and a harsh, punitive criminal justice system. As mental health professionals, we know that effective psychological treatment can help troubled individuals find safer ways to express themselves, and we unequivocally support early identification of mental health concerns and improved access to services for those who need them.
The challenges of teaching in the third millennium
….Thank you for your editorial “Holding Your Breath Won’t Win You Points,” which highlights teachers’ leadership role in the community and the enjoyment they can derive from leading extra-curricular activities.
….Teaching in the Third Millennium is a multi-layered, multi-faceted job. Not easy at all, because you are working with so many unique people and you can’t rely on routine when working with inquisitive youth. Below, I’ve made a list of what’s difficult about a teachers’ job nowadays – not to complain about the work I love, but rather, to showcase what we do.
Restorative justice is not enough: A new essay about school-based interventions in the carceral state
“Take her! Take her!”
It’s 9:00 A.M. on Monday, and the visibly upset kindergarten teacher screams at me from across the hall. She is holding a six-year-old by her wrist. The little girl, with a dozen pink and white barrettes framing her tear-stained face, yells, “Get off me, let me go!” The teacher pushes the student toward me. I reach out my hand, and the little girl grabs it.
“When should I bring her back?” I ask.
“NEVER,” the teacher yells. “I don’t want her! Never bring her back!”
Restorative Approaches Implementation Pack for schools
from the website of Restorative Justice 4 Schools:
We have seen so many schools wishing to develop a restorative approach re-invent so many of the same documents that we decided to produce a restorative approaches school implementation pack that we hope may support and guide you through this whole process.
Repairing circles: Chicago’s restorative justice community intercepts youth funneled through ‘School-to-Prison Pipeline’
….Sophia Hall, a Circuit Court Judge in Cook County, which covers Chicago, convenes a quarterly citywide restorative justice committee meeting that helps all manner of social workers specializing in faith-based, mental health and education services to network. One idea for expanding the reach of restorative justice practices in Chicago is to train organizations already providing social services throughout the city.
Denver schools seek restorative solution to age-old truancy problem
from the article by Karen Augé in the Denver Post:
That is where DPS restorative justice expert Tim Turley came in. In the post-hearing discussion at MLK, Turley asked each of the four students: "Would you share with us your reasons for not going to school?"
One of the two boys, Armando, whom teachers described as bright and athletic, told Turley, "I've been having migraine headaches."
Restorative justice community/classroom conferencing: A guide for parents and teachers
It may seem surprising, but many children and youth often misbehave, not because they are trying to harm or disrupt the well-being of others or because they are “bad kids,” but because they are simply trying to meet a personal need, albeit in a negative way. “Children’s behaviours are determined, for the most part, by how they feel about the current state of their physical and psychosocial needs.”
Bullying, restorative justice and teenage girls
The fine line between bullying and what is actually just a broken relationship, combined with our young peoples' inexperience in dealing with these highly emotional moments, is a huge challenge at times. As teachers we will all have suffered the frustration of spending all day dealing with so called bullying between friends, only to find them walking around school arm-in-arm and laughing the next day.
Nova Scotia spends $500K on 'restorative justice' bullying program in schools
from the article by Kris Sims in Sun News:
Nova Scotia is spending $500,000 to expand anti-bullying campaigns in schools, hoping "restorative justice" methods modelled after native sentencing circles can curb the problem in the province.
"Students will largely avoid the stigma of being 'sent to the office' or being suspended. We should not underestimate the negative side-effects of a child's experience at school if that experience involves multiple trips to the principal's office or suspensions from school," reads a government handout on the approach.
Restorative practices in the university: How two professors and a student worked together to resolve conflict
Altravis sat in the back of my algebra class. He missed class often. His work showed evidence of his struggle. When I focused on him, I could see a look of disengagement. One day as I stood at the front of the classroom discussing a problem, I heard Altravis shout out in frustration. I was shaken and scared. I knew that his outburst had rattled students. After class, I approached Altravis and asked what was going on. He apologized and explained that it wouldn't happen again.