NY bus bully incident, Karen Klien and restorative justice
Aug 01, 2012
The bus monitor bullied by middle school boys. It’s been in the media and ironically, I first heard of the incident in Circle Training. Karen Klien recently offered that she would like to talk to them to ask them why.
The natural course of this has some restorative elements. The victim didn’t think the apology letters were sincere. It was the 4th student who did an apology face to face that helped Karen.
Restorative Justice is victim-centered, victim initiated, different from systems, who discipline, punish, sanction. Repairing the harm becomes the responsibility of systems and repairing the harm is the focus of Restorative Justice efforts. Systems that engage Restorative Justice can do double the repair work. Karen said she is “fine” with the school’s response. My bet is that Restorative Justice would produce results that are more than her feeling fine.
There are limitless options in Restorative Justice, and who knows what a well run Circle or Restorative Justice Conference could have produced. I do want to compliment those that responded under the scrutiny of international media. Well done to include community service with senior citizens.