Across the U.S., schools are Minding the Discipline Gap in Education between white and minority students by turning to restorative practices:
- The Oakland, CA, school board unanimously votes to end suspensions for willful defiance and funds restorative justice.
- Education activists in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, NC, want schools to adopt restorative justice as an alternative to suspension. (See also O.N.E. Charlotte pushes for restorative justice in CMS.)
- Denver, CO, Public Schools increase their investment in restorative practices, reducing their suspensions since 2005 from 16,000 to 6,300 and expulsions from over 250 to 67.
- John Marshall Law School has been awarded a grant to expand anti-violence restorative justice work in a Chicago Public School.
- Eighteen Loudoun, VA, high, middle & elementary schools adopt restorative practices and decrease suspensions in incidents of fighting, bullying, harassment and disrespect.
"We cried and we laughed, and we understood through lived experience the power of circle in building community," states a Gotham Gazette (New York) opinion piece, Restorative Justice is Key to School Discipline Reform.
An Oregon teacher touts restorative practices: "If we can teach [students] to communicate peacefully when they have a conflict, that’s a tool they can take with them."
A Baltimore, MD, teacher writes, "Our school's response to the recent violence has been to offer our students support and a place to share." (See also our Restorative Works feature this month, "Baltimore students 'circle up' to cope with unrest.")
Padres & Jóvenes Unidos issues its The 2nd Annual Colorado School Discipline Report Card.
FixSchoolDiscipline posts all its webinars for viewing, including its recent event, "Institutionalized Racism and Inequity."
From EdWeek: When schools attend to psychological, social and emotional development, engagement and academics improve.
In Barbados, the Minister of Education wants to end corporal punishment in schools and proposes restorative practices as an alternative.
IIRP Licensee Pat Miller, who runs a restorative justice diversion program in Tennessee, says, "We’ve had, to date, a zero recidivism rate."
Paper: Restorative Justice in Cases of Sexual Violence: Exploring the views of the public and survivors.
Report from the European Forum for Restorative Justice: "Victims and Restorative Justice: An empirical study of the needs, experiences and position of victims within restorative justice practices."
From The Nation: "The criminal-justice system is set up never to jail police. Could restorative justice serve communities better?"
A teenage vandal makes cups of tea, cleans the car for his disabled victim and shows genuine remorse for his actions, in Hull, UK, through a Humberside Police restorative justice scheme.
From the British Journal of Criminology: "I Thought 'He's a monster'… [but] he was just ... normal," a paper "Examining the Therapeutic Benefits of Restorative Justice for Homicide."
- In this 20-minute film from the Restorative Justice Council, actors recreate a restorative conference for a burglary.
- Undefinable Relationship: A woman who killed an elderly couple while fleeing police in a stolen car delivers a TEDx together with her victims' daughter.
- Watch a humorous but accurate Animated Intro to Restorative Justice.
Dalhousie University, in Halifax, NS, Canada, issues a report detailing its 5-month restorative justice process around a scandal involving 13 male dental students who made inappropriate sexual comments about their female colleagues in a private facebook group. Watch a video in which several involved students discuss the process, their intentions, how they responded to the public frenzy around the scandal and what they've learned.
Family & Community
Norfolk County, UK, schools offer a course in restorative parenting. A mother explains, “We say ‘what happened?’ and take it from there and talk about the behaviour rather than getting angry with each other.”
The Search Institute, a social science research institute based in Minneapolis, MN, that aims to "address critical issues in education and youth development," outlines a framework for studying "developmental relationships," which urge people to "Express Care," "Challenge Growth," "Provide Support," "Share Power," and "Expand Possibilities."