- Showing 4 posts filed under: Policy [–], School [–] published between Dec 01, 2009 and Dec 31, 2009 [Show all]
'Solution circle' starts healing at Boulder's Justice High
Six Justice High students on Wednesday faced one another, their families and the poor choices that landed some of them in the hospital two weeks ago.
The students, who got in trouble Dec. 2 for overdosing on prescription drugs while at school, were participating in one of Justice High's first restorative justice "solution circles."
The idea behind the circles is for students who get into trouble to discuss their behavior with their parents, peers, teachers and counselors and come up with solutions other than court-ordered punishments. Administrators at Justice High, a Boulder charter school for troubled teens, say the goal is to address problem behavior before it becomes more serious.
Rethinking school discipline
Classroom learning is a delicate balance between teacher and student -- a balance of discipline and nurturing that shelters students from the chaos of the outside world and replaces it with structure and inspiration to help focus on building their minds. But the recently published analysis by the Associated Press on in-school disciplinary actions in Illinois reveals that the disciplinary side of education is often too heavy-handed, sweeping away not just troublemakers but potentially successful students, too. These bleak findings show that while African American students make up 20% of the average student population in the past decade, they comprise nearly half of all public school suspensions and expulsions.
Restorative justice practices will help us get at the roots
In my time in the District, I've seen clashes between students who come from very different backgrounds. I've also been a part of facilitating cross-cultural dialogues that were incredibly transformative for students and the school community, helping students break stereotypes they held about people of other races and ethnicities, and preventing inter-racial conflict and violence.
The recent attacks on Asian American students at South Philadelphia High School stand as a clear message that a tension exists between students of different backgrounds.
And our response as a District will show what our values are.
Dignity in Schools Campaign releasing national resolution for ending school pushout
from the Restorative Practices eForum:
Over 180 organizations from across the country, including the International Institute for Restorative Practices, have signed on to support the Dignity in Schools Campaign National Resolution for Ending School Pushout, a call to action for our school systems to end harsh discipline policies and law enforcement tactics that push too many young people out of school each year. The resolution calls for schools to implement positive alternatives that protect the human rights of young people and keep students in school, including "evidence-based discipline policies and practices, such as Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and restorative practices.”