Youth United: We have a solution - restorative justice
....When students are suspended, we don’t get a chance to work on whatever it was that made us act out in the first place. And being sent home from school makes us feel like we don’t matter, that our school does not care about or believe in us.
from the post by Virago on KiwiBiker forum:
This makes for some interesting reading: http://aranakenny.blogspot.co.nz/
It's worthwhile clicking through some of the links to get all the details, but in a nutshell:
A Victoria University employee, doing caretaking and security work, steals a student's cellphone while working. Seven months later, the victim tracks the phone down using smart-phone technology, and hands the evidence to the police. The culprit is arrested and charged, and he admits the theft.
Restorative practices in schools and communities
….A growing international body of research demonstrates that restorative action-based practices in schools contribute to safer and more productive learning environments for both staff and students. In 2004, The Youth Justice Board for England and Wales evaluated a large-scale pilot restorative justice project designed to reduce unwanted behaviors (eg. bullying and victimization, poor attendance) and school suspensions. The comparison study utilized surveys and interviews with 5,000 students, 1,150 staff members, and 600 outside participants. Schools that used restorative action reported:
- Fewer students who felt that bullying was a problem in their school, and
- Fewer instances of racist name-calling and bullying, such as hitting, kicking, theft, verbal threats, and skipping class to avoid bullies.
Restorative justice helps at-risk kids in Oakland
And these three know what it can all lead to. They’ve all been locked up in juvenile hall for various crimes, from auto theft to assault and battery. Morgan said the latter was what she was behind bars for at just 14 years old. She admitted to using a crowbar on a group of girls she said attacked her first. “I was so mad where I couldn’t stop myself. I started hitting them and hitting them and hitting them.”
Limiting the role of police in our schools
....In 2008, Padres y Jóvenes Unidos was involved in creating the most progressive student discipline code in the country, calling for an end to racial disparities in discipline and limiting the role of police in Denver Public Schools. Since then, out-of-school suspensions are down 25.7 percent; expulsions are down 48.8 percent; and Denver County Juvenile Court filings from DPS are down 43.3 percent.
Restorative justice for schools
“Your son’s been hit in the head by another student,” the vice principal said when I answered the phone one day in 1999.
My son was 13 and in the eighth grade. The vice principal added, “The other student has been suspended.”
“Please don’t suspend him,” I asked, fearing it would make things worse.
“It’s school policy,” the vice principal responded.
Restorative justice: the evolution of an issue
....It was 2007 when I was first asked about doing an issue on restorative justice by our author, Sandra Pavelka. Although I was potentially interested, two things kept this issue from happening more quickly: First, I felt like the literature surrounding restorative justice needed to have a stronger research-base; and, second, restorative justice was a concept and approach I struggled to fully understand. There are so many types of interventions that fall under the rubric of “restorative justice” that seeing the connections was difficult for me.
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!”