Restorative Justice for Schools
Do threats of punishment deter discipline problems? Does punishment change behavior? For some kids it does. For many it does not, and, the punishment may disrupt the school community. Traditional discipline and punishment may work as a short-term fix, but usually not in the long run. RJ supports real accountability and meaningful connections.
Schools that have committed to RJ report:
- Significantly lower rates of suspensions and expulsions
- Dramatically improved school climate and culture
- Higher academic achievement and test scores
We offer training in proactive and responsive Restorative Practices, as well as facilitation services.
Classroom Circles foster connection and relationship within the school community. Kids who feel connected to their community are less likely to harm that community.
“Using Circles has helped us form meaningful connections – the kids know I care and am interested in them, and they feel united as a class. I have seen unlikely friendships and interactions. I think there is a correlation between these interactions and their willingness to work for me, too. I had two of these students before, and they both failed. This time, they are passing and one is really excelling, which is very exciting for me to see as a teacher.” – Teacher at Cedar Ridge High School
Student Mediations are facilitated by a trained RJ practitioner and bring together students who have been in a verbal or physical altercation or some other form of conflict (including issues involving social media). Students discuss the impact of their behavior on themselves and others and work toward a collaborative agreement about a path moving forward.
Group Conferencing is facilitated by a trained RJ practitioner and brings together as many stakeholders (students, teacher, support staff) as possible to say how they have been harmed and brainstorm ways to repair those harms.
“I attended the Circle to help my son do the right thing and to show him that he is loved and supported. To help my child know that he made a mistake, he can move on.” – Parent Participant