• Screen Shot 2013-03-11 at 2.24.32 PMThe following statement issued by Senator Dick Durbin's office:

    Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, today announced he would hold a hearing on the school-to-prison pipeline next Wednesday, December 12, 2012.

    The first-ever Congressional hearing on the matter will investigate the troubling increase in the number of young people sent to the juvenile delinquency system as a result of relatively minor school discipline issues. Since the 1990s, many students nationwide have been pushed out of the classroom and into the courts for relatively minor, non-violent offenses. Once young people enter the criminal justice system, they


  • Here's an edited version of a longer film about Rozelle Primary School, which Terry O'Connell mentioned in last week's podcast about his trip to Zimbabwe. The school has been using restorative practices for nearly 10 years.

  • What are Restorative Practices? from Christin Clark on Vimeo with students from Philadelphia, teacher Neil Geyette, formerly of West Philadelphia High School, and IIRP trainer Steve Korr.

  • Nigel Richardson, Leeds City Council director of children's services

    The project of Hull, UK to become a restorative city has since spread to nearby city of Leeds. Both projects will be highlighted Thursday and Friday, November 8 & 9 at a conference put on by Hull Centre for Restorative Practice, "A Tale of Two Restorative


  • Photo by Kate Ter Haar at Flickr Creative Commons

    More and more frequently I come across so many articles about school implementing various restorative practices programs in a given day or week that I might end up putting them aside or simply posting links on IIRP's Twitter feed. Today, though, I thought I'd just post a brief summary of four links that came through last week so people could get a sense of


  • This week's "Sunday Video" comes from Colorado, which hosted its 1st statewide Restorative Justice summit in August. Dominic Barter and Peter Block were keynote speakers. But this six-minute video also demonstrates the open space format used to generate active participation from all attendees.

    For another perspective on the summit, there's an episode – 47 minutes – of the Unitive Justice by Sylvia Clute podcast. Clute attended the summit and shares her experience in depth. Click here to listen.

  • IIRP Instructor Lee Rush will be presenting a workshop entitled “So What Happens Next?: Using a Restorative Practice After a Bullying Incident,” at the 2012 International Bullying Prevention Association’s (IBPA) annual conference to be held next week from November 4-6 in Kansas City, MO.

    This 9th annual conference will be attracting over 700 persons from throughout North America and abroad.

    “For many in our field, the intersection of using restorative practices in the interest of preventing bullying seems like a perfect fit,” Rush said.  “However,


  • In Nova Scotia, two article discuss new policies to support restorative responses in schools throughout the province. Clare Mellor in the Chronicle Herald writes:

    [T]he provincial Education and Justice departments announced they are putting together a provincewide framework for schools who want to use a restorative approach to managing conflict between students.

    During the next three years, the two departments will share the $500,000 cost of implementing policies and a list of resources and contacts for schools that use the program.

  • I missed posting a video yesterday, so I'm making up for it today. This one-minute vid was posted along with an article at Voice Waves titled "Students and teachers find restorative justice more effective."The piece discusses a student who is upset about something happening in class and requests a restorative circle from the school dean. Most of the circles discussed in the article are responsive, but the video below, featuring restorative justice coordinator Robert Howard, seems to be promoting a more proactive use of restorative justice:

  • Morning circle session for 9th graders at Plymouth Education Center in DetroitOn Tuesday, Melinda Clynes wrote an article in Model D, "a web-based magazine creating new narratives for Detroit since 2005," titled "City kids: How proactive restorative practices benefit all." Framing the argument for


  • Educational Leadership has a piece this month by Larry Ferlazzo "Eight Things Skilled Teachers Think, Say, and Do" that rings true on a number of levels.

    The list includes:

    • Remember that authoritative beats authoritarian.
    • Believe that everyone can grow.
    • Give positive messages.
    • Apologize (i.e., being willing to admit that as a teacher, you are also human).
    • Be flexible.
    • Set the right climate.

  • photo by Sarah Rice for EdWeek

    EdWeek has published the first in a four-part series of articles by Nirvi Shah called "Rethinking Discipline."

    The introduction to the series notes: "Zero-tolerance policies, which require out-of-school suspension or expulsion for certain inappropriate behaviors, have become the go-to disciplinary approach in many schools. But research suggests some downsides: Such punishments may not change students’ behavior and are often meted out


  • Power U Center for Social Change is a nonprofit, grassroots organization based in Miami, Florida that, according to its web site, is "FIGHTING for our land, our people, our community; ORGANIZING for justice in our schools and communities; SUPPORTING the struggle of social, environmental, and economic justice." A key program area involves empowering youth to advocate for

  • Amy Merickel, a mother of a San Francisco school child, discovers the power of restorative practices when she volunteers as a recess monitor. She describes her experience in this podcast from KQED radio.

    I like where she says:

    "It's [restorative practices] a framework for community building and conflict resolution, and is predicated on high expectations with high support to meet them. In education, Restorative Practices emphasizes building trusting relationships and learning from conflict. It helps put the kibosh on bullying."

    The full text of her piece can be found

  • Sunday videos continue with this piece from the Dignity in Schools Campaign to mark their Annual National Week of Action on School Pushout going on now – September 29 to October 6, 2012.

    To find out how to get involved in the Week of Action, click here.


  • Christian Science Monitor has published an opinion piece by IIRP President Ted Wachtel about the growing trend for schools to move away from failed zero tolerance policies. He also discusses the role restorative can play in this transition. The piece begins:

  • Today's excerpt is from Julia Steiny writing at EdWeek and also on her blog. She says there is no evidence that punitive measures work to change students' behavior. But restorative justice does work. The piece is presented as an open letter to President Obama. The full link appears below.

    No research shows that suspensions teach kids the social skills they need to keep them


  • Here are two clippings this week relevant to current trends of schools using restorative justice to move away from zero tolerance policies and address the disproportionate punishing of minority students. First from Denver, Colorado, then from California: 

    There were 185 expulsions in 2009-2010 compared to 63 last year, said John Simmons, executive director of student services for the district. Meanwhile, the number of out-of-school suspensions has declined in that same period from 9,558 to 7,525 last year.

    Fifty-five percent of students suspended from school last year were Hispanic, which is close to the 58 percent of Hispanic students who attend school in the district.

    The big gap is between white and black students. White students make up 20 percent of DPS students but only 8 percent of those suspended. Conversely, black students make up only 15 percent of district students but comprised 32 percent of those who


  • Photo by Kevin Wong, Flickr Creative Commons

    Lois Puglionesi writes in the DailyTimes, serving Delaware County, Pennsylvania, that Haverford School District is looking to address bullying utilizing restorative practices.

    The article discusses bullying, its pervasiveness and possible reasons for its seeming rise:

    In a presentation to the school board, Special Education Director Valerie Burnett said a recent Pennsylvania Youth Survey showed that bullying remains a key area of


  • Ted Wachtel's plenary – "Defining Restorative and Building a Worldwide Restorative Practices Learning Network" – from this year's IIRP's 15th World Conference. View the video here.