• Photo by Jim Wilson at the New York TimesPhoto by Jim Wilson at the New York Times

    A second article this week, about a restorative justice program in schools in Oakland, California, has appeared in a national publication, this one in the New York Times. In a piece titled, "...

  • Photo by Ann Hermes at Christian Science MonitorPhoto by Ann Hermes at Christian Science MonitorStacy Teicher Khadaroo has an article in this month's Christian Science Monitor titled "Restorative justice: One high school's path to reducing suspensions by half." As so


  • IIRP President Ted Wachtel will be one of three presenters in a free webinar on Thursday, April 11th, 2013, at 11:00 am (ET), 8:00 am (PT). The webinar is part of a series of webinars funded by Health Canada on substance abuse prevention. The objective for this session is to show the linkages that are needed between "health" and "justice" programs.

    The webinar is titled: "Suspension Alternatives, Diversion, Restorative Practices & Reintegration: Partnerships among Police, Health, Social Services and Education Ministries/Agencies." The other participants are Richard Deribe, Coordinator, Restorative Justice Schools Program, Nova Scotia, and Theresa Campbell, Safe Schools Coordinator, Surrey School Board, British Columbia.

  • Twenty community members from across the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, USA, met Tuesday, March 26, to hear about creating a "restorative zone."

    The meeting was led by IIRP president Ted Wachtel and  assistant professor and director of continuing education John Bailie, with presentations by Bethlehem Area School District supervisor of minority affairs Vivian Robledo-Shorey and Allentown School District executive director of community & student services Susan Lozada.

    Participants included a Pennsylvania state police officer, Allentown Mayor's Office and the Lehigh Valley District Attorney's Office representatives, Allentown and Bethlehem school district administrators, a Lehigh University professor, an attorney, several pastors, community center leaders and social services


  • Screen-Shot-2013-03-21-at-10.39.49-AMAccording to Amy Norton, writing for U.S. News and World Report, the American Academy of Pediatrics has taken a public stance against the use of suspensions and expulsions in schools. The article begins:

    Suspending or expelling a child from school should be a rare last resort and not a routine punishment for bullying, drug use or other infractions, according to a new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

    The AAP, a leading group of pediatricians, said school "zero-tolerance" policies toward kids' behavior problems do no good.

  • From an article from Edmonton, Canada about how restorative practices are being applied in a middle school:

    When Spencer Cummings' peers at school started saying "stupid things" and insulting him, the 13-year-old sat in a circle alongside those students and the school principal to explain how the situation made him feel.

    It gave Spencer the chance to articulate his hurt feelings and help resolve the conflict. He said the method was more empowering than the traditional approach of having the principal or teacher handle the discipline.

    "I could explain to the kids why I thought that was wrong, even though they might know it was wrong," said Spencer, a student at Fultonvale Elementary Junior High School in Sherwood Park.

    "Then we talked about what we could do in the future to resolve this issue. I didn't have many issues at all after that....

    "I felt really good about it. We just talked out our issues


  • Photo by Elliott Francis for WAMU

    There's a great new web site resource created by the Advancement Project called Ending the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track. This phrase is synonymous to the more familiar one, "ending the school-to-prison pipeline." The site includes news, a map of the movement, success stories, an invitation to attend


  • Les Davey, director of IIRP UK & Ireland, emailed an update on the 1-day conference being planned for June 20, 2013 in Salford, Manchester, UK. He writes, "The programme is coming together nicely with both national and international plenaries plus a wide choice of workshops across Justice, Communities, Education and Care."

  • According to Nirvi Shah, writing for EdWeek:

    A panel of school safety, climate, and security experts quizzed by a House committee today largely agreed that schools need more counselors, better communication between adults on campus and students, and additional, thoughtful emergency planning.

    One thing they don't need, according to the experts: Teachers carrying guns to class.

    Shah quotes David Osher of the American Institutes for Research, who she calls a "school climate guru": "The real challenge in schools is not the low-incidence and very traumatic events we want to prevent. It's low-level aggression that takes place persistently."

    Shah points out that "Combating that,


  • IIRP, which is based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, has been working with the local Bethlehem Area School District the past two years to implement restorative practices at two large  high schools and at other schools in the district. Lehigh Valley PBS TV (Public Broadcasting System) included a five minute segment about the implementation in a recent 30-minute program called Tempo, which focused on the question of bullying in schools. The segment includes interviews with IIRP instructor Mary Jo Hebling and examples of how restorative circles are being used by teachers in classes.

  • From the Washington Post

    Denver, Colorado, is in the national news this week. At a time when some are calling to beef up police security in schools, Denver is limiting by contractual agreement the role of police in schools, and requiring training for those police who will remain so that they do not wind up criminalizing more students. The approach calls for restorative justice. The Washington Post reports:



  • Creative Commons / Roche PhotoCreative Commons / Roche Photo

    Melinda Clynes, has written an article for Michigan Night Light (whose tag line is "Illuminating Solutions for Children") titled "Repairing Detroit Through Restorative Practices." Clynes begins by quoting Henry McClendon, Michigan Regional Coordinator for the


  • In the coming year IIRP will be offering three different 4Day Events in a host of locations nationwide.


  • IIRP instructor Steve Korr will be presenting the first day's keynote, "Restorative Practices: A Systemic Model for Change in Schools," at the American Council for School Social Work Conference, which takes place February 18-19, 2013, at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Following the keynote, Steve will also be doing an interactive workshop on "Restorative Practices in Schools."

    Steve's keynote is an indication of how restorative practices is gaining credence nationally. Steve has been involved in implementing whole-school change through restorative practices nationwide and will share his experiences with


  • Balloon release at Fenger High School, from video uploaded by Robert SpicerRobert Koehler's column this week for the Chicago Tribune focuses on a school transformation at Fenger High School in Chicago.

    "Fenger used to have a terrible reputation, which reached its nadir a little over three years ago when one of its students, Derrion Albert, was


  • Representatives of school and church meet over breakfast in Susquehanna Township. Photo by M. Diane McCormick for

    The Susquehanna Township (Pennsylvania) School District has not only been implementing restorative practices district-wide. They are also reaching out to the wider community to involve them in the changes happening in the school and expand their efforts. This article from the the Harrisburg Patriot News/ describes


  • Chief Executive Officer of the Dispute Resolution Foundation (DRF), Donna Parchment Brown (left), engages in light discussion with Campion College students, Khadijah Chin (right) and Jordan Jarrett, at the Restorative Justice Facilitators graduation and awards ceremony held on Thursday, February 7, at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston. Photo & caption from JIS.

    Latonya Linton, for the Jamaica Information Service on February 8, 2013, writes:

    The Ministry of Justice will be partnering with the Ministry of Education


  • Restorative Justice for youth in Oakland.

  • Public Counsel, includes restorative practices infoPublic Counsel Law Center has just published a downloadable toolkit and launched a web site aimed at revising discipline policies in schools in California. Beginning with the statement, "During the 2010-2011 academic year, California schools issued more suspensions than diplomas," the toolkit goes on to argue the need to end ineffective zero-tolerance policies and employ alternative approaches.

    The "Good News" section of the toolkit (which can also be found online

  •  Photo by FMSC at Flickr Creative Commons Photo by FMSC at Flickr Creative CommonsMiguel Tello, Representative for IIRP Latinoamérica, has helped to launch an exciting restorative practices program in El Salvador.

    Miguel also directs the Strachan Foundation, a family foundation that supports educational organizations throughout Central America with small grants. Four Strachan Foundation grantees in El Salvador will also receive restorative practices training, including Fe y Alegria, a respected NGO