NIH to fund first randomized controlled trials for restorative practices in 16 Maine schools
from the article on Restorative Works:
RAND Corporation, in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health, is embarking on a randomized controlled study to measure the effectiveness of restorative practices in influencing school environments and decreasing problem behaviors.
Review: The little book of restorative justice for colleges and universities
from the review by Duane Rohrbacher:
The purpose of The Little Book of Restorative Justice for Colleges and Universities is not to determine how to fit restorative justice (‘RJ’) practices into student conduct programming. The purpose of this book is to expose the reader to RJ practices, the theory behind RJ, and to offer examples of how institutions with different student populations have successfully implemented RJ programming into their student conduct scheme. The author offers three different types of RJ models: conferencing, circles, and boards. These are all explained in detail in separate chapters. The audience for this book is clearly student conduct administrators. A student conduct administrator, who is interested in exploring RJ principles, though, would only find the first six chapters useful.
Sharp drop in suspensions as Boston schools try ‘restorative’ approach
from the article by Jack Encarnacao on BostonHerald.com:
State data show a staggering drop in drug- and violence-related suspensions in Boston schools since the district amended its discipline policies to allow “restorative justice” measures in lieu of suspensions, including written apologies, conferences between offenders and victims, and anger management courses.
Boston Public Schools reported suspending or expelling 743 students in 2010 for offenses ranging from sexual assaults to fights to drug and weapons possession, according to data provided to the Herald by the state education department. In one year, that number dropped more than 80 percent, to 137 in 2011, and then to 120 in 2012.
The data indicate Boston largely stopped suspending students for physical fights and attacks. In 2010, 129 students were suspended for fights. In 2012, zero were.
Restorative conference intervention to avoid school exclusion: Practice report
TS (year 11 traveller girl) was permanently excluded from a High School and at the governors meeting, other issues were raised that showed T’s action of assault on another pupil, whilst not condoned detailed some provocation to the incident. It also emerged in the meeting that T is from a traveller background and therefore statistically more likely to be permanently excluded. Due to these reasons the School Exclusion Team robustly challenged the decision and discussed with governors the possibility of looking at an alternative strategy to permanent exclusion.
A Philadelphia School's Big Bet on Nonviolence
from the article by Jeff Deeney in The Atlantic:
Last year when American Paradigm Schools took over Philadelphia's infamous, failing John Paul Jones Middle School, they did something a lot of people would find inconceivable. The school was known as "Jones Jail" for its reputation of violence and disorder, and because the building physically resembled a youth correctional facility. Situated in the Kensington section of the city, it drew students from the heart of a desperately poor hub of injection drug users and street level prostitution where gun violence rates are off the charts. But rather than beef up the already heavy security to ensure safety and restore order, American Paradigm stripped it away. During renovations, they removed the metal detectors and barred windows.
The police predicted chaos. But instead, new numbers seem to show that in a single year, the number of serious incidents fell by 90%.
IIRP receives grant to improve climate in Philadelphia schools
From the article on the Restorative Works Learning Network:
The International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) Graduate School has received a multi-year grant from The Philadelphia Foundation’s Fund for Children to implement restorative practices in 10 Philadelphia School District high schools and middle schools.
The IIRP’s SaferSanerSchools Whole-School Change Program will help the schools build relationships between students, staff and parents; create a sense of community; improve student behavior; reduce violence and bullying and establish school climates conducive to learning. Rather than just reacting to incidents after they occur, the program implements proactive techniques that foster relationships and a sense of belonging.
Fairfax program focuses on justice and discipline
from the article by Susan R. Paisner in the Fairfax Times.com:
Restorative justice could be considered a first cousin once removed of the modern-day interpretation of the Hippocratic oath: First, do no harm.
For restorative justice focuses on repairing harm that has been done – and preventing future harm.
School hopes talking it out keeps kids from dropping out
from the article by Jennifer Guerra on Capital Public Radio:
Out-of-school suspensions are on the rise across the country, a troubling statistic when you consider being suspended just once ups a student's chances of dropping out entirely. That's why many districts are hoping to keep kids in school by trying an alternative to suspension.
The "conflict resolution room" at Ypsilanti High School in Michigan is quiet and sparse — just a small couch, some chairs and a plant. For decoration there are a few homemade posters with drawings of shooting stars and signs with slogans like "Together we can!" and "Think before you speak."
It's where students go when they're on the verge of being suspended.
‘Restorative justice’ brings closure to Hopkins High School racial insensitivity dispute
From the article in the Golden Valley Patch:
Prosecutors have dropped misdemeanor charges against two Hopkins High School students who protested alleged racial insensitivity at the school, and the district has overturned the students’ suspensions, according to a joint statement from the school district and the students' attorney.
The actions follow a “restorative justice” process initiated to bring closure to a February confrontation between black students and school officials that led to a student walkout in May.
Limits of school-based restorative justice in reducing school suspension
....As I have chronicled in some previous posts, Restorative Practices/School-Based Restorative Justice is being taken more and more seriously as a way to reduce the harmful effects of school suspension.
Certainly, when students are being suspended for the relatively minor infractions that compose a great fraction of the reasons for suspension, at least in the Detroit data–verbal abuse, talking back, violations of dress code, possibly even substance abuse–suspension makes no sense, and teaching students to be respectful of others by promoting affective communication and empathy makes perfect sense. Even serious violations of student behavior that do not pose a grave physical danger to others may be perfect candidates for school-based restorative practices.