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.
A missing piece in the fight against bullying
from the article by Kevin Golembiewski on Bridge 50:
Although it has received significant media coverage over the past few years and nearly every state has passed anti-bullying legislation, bullying remains a pervasive problem in schools across the nation. Nearly one-third of U.S. students aged 12 to 18 are bullied each year, and stories of bullying victims committing suicide are becoming more and more common.
Childs Hill School in Cricklewood handed restorative justice award
from the by Anna Slater:
A school has won an award for the unique way it deals with conflicts between children.
Childs Hill, in Dersingham Road, Cricklewood, is one of the first organisations in the country to be handed the Restorative Justice Council’s restorative quality service mark.
Transforming campus culture to prevent rape: The possibility and promise of restorative justice as a response to campus sexual violence
From the article by Alletta Brenner on The Harvard Journal of Law & Gender Blog:
Though feminists have long argued that rape is linked to sex discrimination, legal responses to rape tend to ignore the ways that social and cultural norms contribute to sexual violence. One exception, however, exists in the context of federal anti-discrimination law under Title IX, which applies to colleges and universities that receive federal funds. Under the legal framework established by Title IX, rape constitutes a form of severe sexual harassment, to which educational institutions are legally obligated to respond.An institution’s failure to do so is considered evidence of sex discrimination and may subject it to both federal penalties and civil liability. Recently, this obligation was further strengthened by the passage of legislation that codifies particular aspects of what campus grievance processes for rape survivors must include and requires schools to take affirmative steps to transform campus culture to prevent rape.