• California’s Fix School Discipline, a project of Public Counsel, encourages schools in California to address school climate in their newly required Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAP). In a recent blog post counting down to the July 1 deadline, they praise Fresno schools:
Restorative Practices, the critical alternative to suspension in Fresno, is used to build a sense of school community and resolve conflict by repairing harm and restoring positive relationships through the use of regular ‘restorative circles’ where students and educators work together to set academic goals, develop core values for the classroom community and resolve conflicts.
• National Public Radio reports that “More School Districts Rethink Zero-Tolerance Policies.” Teacher Anita Wadhwa demonstrates a restorative circle: “Conflicts start with people exchanging words. So why can't they heal with people exchanging words? It's a pretty fairly simple concept that's been around for centuries.”
• EdWeek commentary, "Integrating Social-Emotional Learning Into High School" by Barbara Cervone and Kathleen Cushman, argues that restorative practices support both academic performance and social and emotional health in secondary schools.
• Hannah Miller, former director of youth development and operations at a small public high school in the Bronx, says that in addition to restorative justice, which is long overdue, schools need to work on how teachers understand misbehavior and interact with their toughest students.
• Jeremy Simons, a former Restorative Justice Coordinator in Denver Public Schools, provides a great example of school leadership adopting a respectful, restorative approach to turn around Cole Middle School in inner city Denver, Colorado, USA (via Restorative Justice Online).
• Thirty-nine members of the faculty of the Syracuse University School of Education sign a letter endorsing restorative approach for Syracuse schools.
Theory & Practice
• Julia Steiny sheds lights on the normative role of shame and references the work of John Braithwaite. Steiny asks: “Given shame’s intrinsic lack of appeal, how can we help people see that it’s like a powerful interpersonal drug that can be restoratively tonic or fatally toxic to the human spirit, depending on how it’s used?”
• Theo Gavrielides of IARS has put out a call for case studies to illustrate a forthcoming book, A Victim-led Criminal Justice System for Europe. “Have you seen a good restorative justice practice that is delivered safely and in the interest for the victim?” Submission deadline is July 15, 2014.
• IIRP Europe’s first Restorative Practitioner training in Budapest a huge success.
• In July IIRP President Ted Wachtel will present at The National School Climate Center’s Summer Institute. NSCC's mission is to promote positive and sustained school climate – safe, supportive environments that nurture social and emotional, ethical and academic skills.
• Watch a great 10-minute mini-documentary about artist Si Lewen, who donated his work to IIRP, by Lewen's grandson, artist Damon Kardon.
• Peel District School Board (school district) in Ontario, Canada, produced this fantastic short video about restorative practices, emphasizing the use of circles for delivering course conduct in the class. IIRP Canada continues to work with Peel.
Read past editions of the Restorative Practices News Roundup.