It happens more and more these days that I read a head-line and immediately wonder why restorative justice, or restorative practices, couldn't be used in these cases. The one that caught my attention this morning was a piece originally from the Huffington Post which you can see here.
According the piece, a substitute teacher overheard the boy tell his friend another teacher was "cute." This was reported to the principal who decided to suspend the boy for two days.
An argument could certainly be made for shrugging off the comment as innocent. And yet, if feathers were ruffled, this strikes me as an awfully good candidate for a "small impromptu conference" where the substitute teacher could say how she felt about the comment so the boy could hear that. He might even have apologized. As it is, I'm afraid a pretty strange message is being sent to this student and anyone else who hears about the story.