Listen to a recording of the 20-minute interview here:

Bob Kellogg of OneNewsNow summarizes the interview of IIRP President Ted Wachtel on Conversations with Justin Earl, Milwaukee Radio 920AM:

With zero-tolerance policies on the wane in several states, an alternative to dealing with student discipline problems appears to be working more effectively.

According to Ted Wachtel, president of the International Institute of Restorative Practices (IIRP), zero-tolerance policies have been in place for decades, but they have not been very successful.

"The person gets punished. They get to be angry at the people in authority. They think they're the victim. They're not asked to reflect on how they've affected other people. They're not asked to come with a solution at how to make things right. They just get punished," he says.

But restorative practices, an emerging social science, allows staff and students to work together to resolve conflict. And IIRP's SaferSanerSchools program helps students learn the impact they have had on others and how to take responsibility for their actions.

"In our current practice, we don't do anything like that," Wachtel points out. "And when you institute [restorative practices] in schools, and I mean in really tough schools, you get dramatic improvement. Serious incidents start to plummet; suspensions and expulsions drop. It's amazing."

The IIRP president adds that schools in the U.S. and 55 nations around the world are adopting this method and already seeing positive results.

IIRP's website explains that the restorative practices concept has its roots in "restorative justice," which it describes as "a new way of looking at criminal justice that focuses on repairing the harm done to people and relationships rather than on punishing offenders."

Via OneNewsNow: click here for original post.


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