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Video Review: Introducing Restorative Justice: A Positive Approach in Schools

This video contains four segments that explain how restorative justice can be used in schools and demonstrates the positive impact it can have on discipline and hence on its overall environment.

Directed by Faye Gilbert. Produced by Living Archive. 2005.

Produced for the Milton Keynes Council, Introducing Restorative Justice contains video presentations of varying lengths to explain the concept of restorative justice and how it has been applied in schools. Through interviews with teachers, administrators, and students the video segments demonstrate the positive impact that restorative processes can have on school discipline.

The first segment of the video is an introduction to restorative justice for students and their parents. It describes it as a mechanism for resolving conflicts, restoring relationships and fostering respect among students and school staff. To illustrate the benefits, students relate three stories, two about fights and the third about bullying.

The second video segment provides an explanation of restorative justice for staff and school administrators. Divided into two parts, it includes the information provided students in segment one adding the voice of teachers and administrators. Teachers describe the training they received and how it has helped them apply restorative approaches. They describe being surprised by the understanding the students had of the process and the creativity they show in creating solutions. An administrator discusses how restorative conferencing has been useful in conflicts between students, students and faculty, and staff.

A third video segment, titled ‘Other Stories’, presents individual stories. This includes a student and teacher talking about an incident between them in class and how a conference had helped them improve their relationship. Another story concerns a conflict between two girls that escalated to the point of parents becoming involved. The father of one student and the facilitator describe the expanding impact of the conflict and the emotional journey of the conference and the positive results coming out of it. In the final story, a young girl describes a disagreement she had with a friend when two of her friends did not get along and how the conference helped them find ways to repair their relationship.

The final video segment is a dramatization of a conference between two students who had been in a fight and their parents. The video shows the facilitator welcoming each party to the conference, discussing ground rules and then allowing each participant to have a voice in the process. Of the four segments, this is the longest at 32 minutes.

Introducing Restorative Justice: A Positive Approach in Schools is an excellent resource for schools implementing restorative conferencing as a discipline option. The segments allow the video to be used in explaining the concepts to diverse audiences: school decision makers, students and their families, and staff.

The DVD may be ordered from:

Incentive Plus
Price £29.50
Telephone: 44 (0) 1908 526120

Lynette Parker
October 2006

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