Restoring Community

These articles were formerly posted on our Restorative Works website.

school climate reform "We're excited to bring together some of the country's most important leaders in school climate reform, to collaborate at the IIRP's first Presidential Symposium." - John Bailie, Ph.D., IIRP president

The International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) presents a Symposium, Integrating School Climate Reform Efforts: Join the Conversation with National Leaders, July 20 – 21, 2015, at its campus in Bethlehem, PA.

Dr. John Bailie, IIRP president, will be facilitating the Symposium. He is excited about its possible outcomes and potential for impact and shares his thoughts about it.

Student Odessa Reid helps Grandma – Suzanne Ham, CLC's 'foster grandparent' – learn to program her new phone over lunch.Student Odessa Reid helps Grandma – Suzanne Ham, CLC's 'foster grandparent' – learn to program her new phone over lunch.

Last school year, staff at Community Learning Center (CLC), a school in Winfield, Kansas, for students at risk of dropping out of high school, successfully managed a major move by employing restorative practices with students.

“Our students loved that we had always been a separate off-site private school away from all the perceived problems of the other place – the big public high school,” says CLC director Jennifer Muret-Bate, who holds a Master of Science from the International Institute for Restorative Practices.

But in 2014, the school district decided to incorporate the CLC program back into the main school building. Muret-Bate presented a case study about the restorative process they used at the 2014 IIRP World Conference in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Susan Deppe
Dr. Deppe says, "If we can help everyone — parents, teachers, religious leaders, business people, those in criminal justice — understand emotion and its management, we can do even more to help people make changes."


In the following interview Susan Leigh Deppe, M.D., a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Vermont, College of Medicine, and member of the Board of Directors and Faculty of the Tomkins Institute in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, talks about the importance of affect and script theory for enriching restorative practices and the fun that will be had during the professional development event she'll be offering at the IIRP Main Campus on September 17 & 18, 2015.


Director for Central and Eastern Europe, IIRP EuropeVidia Negrea will be a featured presenter at the IIRP Europe 2015 conference. The conference, entitled "From Dream to Reality: Dawning of a New Social Science," will be held June 10-12, 2015, in Budapest, Hungary. Learn more »

Vidia will chair the morning plenary session on day one, a panel about applications of restorative practices in criminal justice settings. She will also present in two breakout sessions related to her work in corrections (details below).




BorbalaFellegi_photo200wBorbála Fellegi, Ph.D., will be a featured presenter at the IIRP Europe 2015 conference. The conference, entitled "From Dream to Reality: Dawning of a New Social Science," will be held June 10-12, 2015, in Budapest, Hungary. Learn more »

The breakout session, “Alternative Ways to Peacemaking in an Intercultural Context,” is scheduled for 1 PM on the second day of the conference.


The IIRP hosted a symposium entitled, "Integrating School Climate Reform Efforts," on July 20-21, 2015, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA. The event featured a panel of national leaders in school climate reform. Below find presentations and recommended readings provided by each panelist.

Read a day-by-day summary of the symposium and highlights of comments from panelists, "Hope for the future of school climate reform," by IIRP Assistant Director for Communications Laura Mirsky.

Janet L. Fox Petersen, Ed.D., a school psychologist in Wichita, KS, Public Schools, talks about her experience at the Integrating School Climate Reform Efforts symposium:


The Detroit News reports overall crime dropping in schools with restorative practices being implemented district-wide.

Chicago Public Schools, with the mayor's support, open Parent Peace Centers. Watch a video about how a Parent Peace Room has been established in one school.

The Wall Street Journal publishes numerous letters and comments countering Eva Moskowitz's op-ed criticizing the use of restorative justice, and one advocate notes elsewhere that "restorative schools manage to achieve communities of joy, safety and learning."

Further, as the New York City Council proposes "Bills Aimed at Clarity, Improvement Around School Discipline and Support," a writer for the New York Times Parenting Blog looks at the implications of police involvement in school discipline. Also, WNYC radio looks at the positive impact of restorative practices in a Brooklyn School.

In Chattanooga, Tennessee, a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) town hall meeting looks at how restorative practices can help end the school-to-prison pipeline. (Article and video.)

Two allied events this summer will address the vital issue of school climate reform. Both are designed to help educators seeking answers on how best to engage young people in their education. They will also explore the best ways to address misbehavior, bullying, dropping out and the “racial discipline gap.”

Jonathan CohenNSCC director Dr. Jonathan Cohen: NSCC Summer Institute host, an IIRP Symposium panelist and guest lecturer for the associated IIRP Graduate School hybrid graduate course.

Guidance for educators implementing and assessing school-climate reform

June 25 and 26, the National School Climate Center (NSCC), in partnership with the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP), presents its Summer Institute, School Climate Improvement: Policy, Practice and Leadership Development. What to do and how to do it?

Quaker chaplain Kate Johnson, photo via OurWindsor.caQuaker chaplain Kate Johnson, photo via In an article for the Perth Courier, Desmond Devoy writes:

Kate Johnson is not a member of the Hug-A-Thug Club.

Neither does she want to lock up prisoners and throw away the key.

Ayesha Brooks, Markham Middle School teacher & IIRP graduate studentAyesha Brooks, Markham Middle School teacher & IIRP graduate student

Once, gang fights, suspensions and expulsions were the norm at Markham Middle School; students were dropping out, and there wasn’t much learning going on. With the introduction of restorative practices, a culture change has happened in this school, located in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.

“There’s nothing tougher than Watts,” says physical education teacher Ayesha Brooks. “Markham is surrounded by four of the roughest housing projects in L.A., with a high population of gangs coming out of them.”

And, as in many middle schools, Markham had excluding cliques. The girls’ locker room was bullying central. “They would shove the girls into the shower and beat them until they joined the gang. This was a norm,” says Brooks.

On April 22 Pittsburgh Public Schools officials announced their plan to implement the IIRP's SaferSanerSchools Whole-School Change program in 23 schools "to improve learning and reduce suspensions," as reported in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "The schools will be part of a research project funded by a $3 million [U.S.] Justice Department grant... ."

During a press conference held at Minadeo PreK-5 in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood, officials focused on how restorative practices can help end the school-to-prison pipeline.

David Hickton, U.S. Attorney for Western Pennsylvania, said, "If we don’t do this, if we only have a hammer, suspended students go from at-risk to drop outs and can quickly wind up on my desk. We need to produce students and graduates rather than defendants and convicts," according to the New Pittsburgh Courier.