Does ‘restorative justice’ in campus sexual assault cases make sense?
It makes sense that victim advocates put personal safety above all other considerations. They meet her when she is most distraught. But that particular emotional reality, while very big, is not necessarily permanent. In cases of acquaintance rape, the urge to be protected from the offender often competes with the equally strong urge to be heard.
Restorative discipline should be common practice to lower the dropout rate for both students and teachers
from the blog entry by Marilyn Armour in Know:
....Lacking specific training and skills in managing behavior issues, many teachers believe that youths, like themselves, should have the innate skills to manage their own conduct. Unfortunately, frequently used punitive measures send students spiraling toward suspensions, involvement in the juvenile justice system, and diminished motivation to engage in or finish school.
Not surprising, student discipline correlates with dropout rates, and that’s particularly troubling in Texas where 25 percent of students fail to graduate.
Using Dialogue Circles to support classroom management
from the article on Edutopia:
Dialogue circles are gatherings in which all participants sit in a circle facing each other to facilitate open, direct communication.
Dialogue circles provide a safe, supportive space where all school community members can talk about sensitive topics, work through differences, and build consensus.
Restorative Conferencing Changes Rotten Behavior
from the article on Spacewhat:
The mom and her 15-year-old son are so palpably nervous you can almost see anxiety ions in the air. He’s committed a seriously foolish act. He and Mom want to cooperate with a restorative conference as an alternative to his getting arrested.
He’s not a bad kid, but like so many kids these days — and so many adults as well — the rules don’t really apply to him. While immature and a goofball, his antics can be funny, some of the time. But the joking can also be irritating, disruptive and obnoxious. This time Goofball crossed a line, a personal violation, that freaked a teacher out to the point where she considered pressing charges — and had every right to do so. But his behavior was not malicious.
For New Orleans, restorative justice means reconciliation
from the article in the Ionia Sentinel Standard:
When Chris Gunther, New Orleans, La.'s coordinator for the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention and a Health Department lead, reached out to stakeholders throughout New Orleans, a student advocacy group called Rethinkers made clear to him and his Forum team the need to expand restorative approaches to conflict in schools.
Restorative justice in education – possibilities, but also concerns
from the blog article by Kathy Evans:
There is a great deal of momentum right now for implementing restorative justice in education. This makes me incredibly excited – and a bit nervous.
Let’s start with the good news! RJ is gaining lots of attention in education. Recently, the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education came together to issue a colleague letter alerting schools that they can be cited for disproportionately disciplining students in certain categories. These federal agencies then recommended restorative justice as one way to address disproportionate discipline in schools!
As city prepares to rethink school discipline, a look at restorative justice programs in action
from the article in Chalk Beat:
It’s a clear morning in mid-June, and Validus Preparatory Academy in the Bronx has that end-of-the-school-year feel. Students bid farewell to teachers, seniors tote freshly printed yearbooks, and most noticeably, students are allowed to disregard the school uniform without a call home or a trip to the principal’s office.
Yet even on a regular day, breaking the dress code would not lead to these consequences. In Validus terms, offenders would be “brought to Fairness” instead.
Elementary school employs restorative practices to engage students in academics and respond to harm
from the article on Restorative Works learning network:
“Usually teachers do too much talking,” said Mike Selvenis, principal of Thomas W. Holtzman Elementary School. “Restorative practices give teachers a way to get out of the way of students. Circles help make the classroom a comfortable place to get conversation going.”
Restorative justice helps teach students
from the article in The Eastern Echo:
For most of this decade, and the previous decade, punishment in schools has not only been considered separate from criminal justice policy, but has also been all about retribution: suspension, expulsion, demerits, etc.
Both approaches involve a narrow definition of justice. Restorative justice is far more promising, and attempts to reconcile the abused and the abuser rather than simply punish the latter. Certainly, the notion of restorative justice becomes complicated and difficult to defend when the abused had a loved one murdered, and the abuser was the assailant. But in cases where the two or more parties are in schoolyard squabbles and scuffles, restorative justice offers more opportunities to students and educators.
Close to Home: Success of restorative program shows in numbers
from the article in the Press Democrat:
Last October, after the Santa Rosa City Council approved funding to introduce restorative practices in schools, The Press Democrat ran an editorial that stated, “Spending $125,000 on a one-year pilot program is a lot to ask — especially for the Santa Rosa City Schools District. But in this case, it's money well spent.”