An addendum to Friday's post "Followup: Philadelphia revises conduct code."

From the Notebook's "SRC adopts revised student code of conduct by Dale Mezzacappa, which places more emphasis on the adoption of restorative practices by the Philadelphia School District:

Students and organizers from the Campaign for Nonviolent Schools said that they felt the new code was a good first step but said it could still be improved – especially by putting more emphasis on “restorative practices” rather than punishment.

“We believe the School District is moving in the right direction,” said Yvonne Knight, a student organizer with Youth United for Change. “However, we need to implement restorative practices and have the code reflect those practices.”


[Assistant General Counsel Rachel] Commissioner Lorene Cary, who heads the SRC’s committee on school climate and safety, said that despite the misgivings of some of the speakers about a lack of commitment to restorative practices, the District is moving in that direction.

Restorative practices and restorative justice emphasize having students understand the harm they’ve caused and work to correct it.  Other similar approaches include positive behavior supports, peer mediation, and youth court, in which students sit in judgment of peers.

Cary said the District is working on bringing all four types of programs to at least some schools and on establishing an overall culture that emphasizes prevention rather than punishment.

She said this can be expensive in a time of shrinking resources, so the District will also look to form more partnerships with outside organizations.

Read the full article here.


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