Advice for teachers to help prevent misbehavior in their classroom
from the article by Dr. John Bailie:
Being a teacher with students who regularly misbehave can be a troubling aspect of the academic world. It can cause you to lose hope with your students and ultimately become unhappy with your job in general. Fortunately, there are ways in which you, as an educator, can encourage your students to behave in and outside of the classroom, without simply sending them to the principal’s office or to detention. And it all starts in the classroom.
You should actively encourage a personal relationship between you and your students, and do what you can to foster a collaborative learning environment. Your students aren’t just mindless workers in a factory, they are individuals who want to learn and grow into functioning adults. To help you help your students, here is some advice.
Restorative Circles program builds empathy, conflict resolution skills in middle school students
from the article on Rapid Growth:
Rather than punishing and shaming students for disruptive behavior, a pilot program called Restorative Circles aims to help them explore what happened, reflect on their role, and restore harmony to relationships and in the larger school community.
The program at Wyoming’s Godfrey Lee Middle School launched last fall as a new outreach of the Dispute Resolution Center of West Michigan, a local nonprofit with the mission of helping people to solve their differences peacefully and constructively using a trained mediator. The center reached out to Godfrey Lee to administer the two-year pilot program, which is being funded through several grants.
Bethlehem woman's mystery novel explores progressive form of justice
from the article in The Morning Call:
A large photo of the hulking Bethlehem Steel plant adorns the cover of Margaret Murray's mystery novel "Forging Justice" so it's no surprise that a restaurant called the Apollo Grill and a hospital named St. Luke's make appearances in its literary landscape.
But the local high school? Its name is "Democracy." It would appear that Murray, who lives on Third Street in the south side of Bethlehem, has taken a page from famed novelist and Pottsville native John O'Hara. O'Hara wrote about the coal region town of Gibbsville in his iconic novel "Appointment in Samara" with its residents of "Lantenengo Street," which is the spitting image of Pottsville's Mahantongo Street.
Jan 16, 2014 School
How to discipline students without turning school into a prison
from the article from the Atlantic:
For years a body of troubling evidence has been building that reveals racially discriminatory practices in school disciplinary measures. Black and Latino children are more likely to be disciplined, be more severely disciplined, and are more frequently are suspended or expelled or sent to special alternative schools. "Zero-tolerance" policies that presume all explanations for infractions as small as being late to school are excuses and there’s no such thing as mitigating circumstances have been particularly hurtful to poor black and Latino students. Supporters of zero tolerance say the policies are designed to teach accountability and maintain order in some of the country’s most dangerous schools; critics say they push at-risk kids who need the most help and attention out of school and send a message that they’re not wanted. Simultaneously, schools have over the years more heavily relied on law enforcement and courts to deal with problem students, creating the so called "school-to-prison pipeline" that for many perpetuates into adulthood.
Alexandria students push for alternatives to suspension
from the article in the Washington Post:
Although Alexandria schools officials have agreed to implement a restorative justice pilot program at T.C. Williams High School this year in an effort to deal with the racially lopsided results of its school discipline policies, the program has yet to begin, leaving some students frustrated.
Shannon Snapp: Restorative justice works: Give it a chance
from the article on the Arizona Daily Star:
Every student has the right to learn in a school that is safe and equitable. Conflicts arise daily in schools, and historically schools have used a zero-tolerance approach to discipline students.
Zero tolerance results in automatic detention, suspension or expulsion for misbehavior , all practices that exclude students from school. On the surface, it may seem like zero-tolerance approaches are efficient and effective, but more than 20 years of research has shown the opposite. Violence has not disappeared from schools with zero-tolerance policies, nor have these policies led to less school disruption.
Restorative classroom practice
from the manual from Belinda Hopkins:
This short booklet uses extracts from our various publications to give classroom teachers in particular an idea of what restorative approaches might mean applied in their day-to-day work.
Although people tend to think of restorative approaches applying only when things go wrong, in fact the pro-active elements are by far the most important. In this regard there is overlap with work your school may already be doing to develop active and more participatory teaching and learning styles, social and emotional skills, community cohesion, greater student voice and participation, and preventative policies to minimise the risk of bullying.
Restorative discipline program in San Antonio middle school reduces student suspensions
from the article on the University of Texas at Austin website:
A San Antonio middle school with some of the highest discipline rates in its district has experienced an 84 percent drop in off-campus suspensions during the past year since administrators began using “restorative discipline” as an alternative to “zero tolerance” to deal with conflicts among students.
Bronx schools reduce policing and suspensions with support from parents
from the article by Dinu Ahmed:
On Saturday, November 16th, members of the Bronx School Justice coalition held a public report back on a year's worth of work to reduce punitive disciplinary measures in Bronx public schools. Instead they are advocating for the use of restorative justice practices and positive disciplinary alternatives in schools. Nearly 120 community members joined parents, students, local elect eds and key officials in the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and New York Police Department's School Safety Division for the event.
Three Ways Capoeira Upped My Organizing Game
from the blog article by Jeremy Lahoud:
Every organizer knows that awful moment, that slow stomach-churning realization that your campaign is about to hit a dead end.
I had that moment recently in the work I was doing with a coalition of local youth organizations fighting for Restorative Justice in public schools. Unlike harsh and ineffective “zero tolerance” policies, Restorative Justice programs create a way for those who have committed harm to dialogue with those who have been harmed, to understand what happened, agree on a remedy, and build relationships that reduce the possibility of future harm. Deep in our bones we wanted Restorative Justice and an end to the disciplinary policies that push out large numbers of African American, Latino, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander students every year.