• The following is from an article in the Allentown Morning Call about some positive trends associated with Bethlehem School District high schools' implementation of IIRP's SaferSanerSchools Whole School Change Program.

    Liberty High School - Bethlehem, PA

  • Estelle Macdonald of Hull Centre for Restorative Practice

    Here's a lovely piece by John Maslin from the Wanganui Chronicle about a two-day conference on the subject of Wanganui, New Zealand "re-inventing" itself as a restorative city. Estelle Macdonald, head teacher at Collingwood primary school in Hull and director of Hull Centre for Restorative


  • Sen. Evie Hudak, D-Westminster, co-sponsor of a law amending Colorado’s zero-tolerance school discipline policies, spoke at Thursday’s celebration at North High School in Denver. (From EdNews Colorado)From an article titled "Bills influencing school disciplinary policies head to governor via EdSource Today:

    Seven bills that


  • Here's piece #3 in this continuing series on some of the great workshops I attended at IIRP's 15th World Conference. (I would note that some of the power points from various sessions have been posted on the IIRP web site - click here.)

    Chuck Saufler, who is based in Maine, was a guidance counselor and now trains and consults with schools and communities. His focus, according to his Safe Schools for All

  • Teacher Robert Roth at a picnic celebrating the high school's gain in test scores. Photo by Winni Wintermeyer at Mother Jones[At last summer's IIRP Summer Symposium: Turning the Tide (August 2011), I heard a lot about the problems of No Child Left Behind and how schools might be creating positive environments and making tangible changes but still be deemed failing by the standards of current law which relies upon the results of standardized testing alone.

    Here's a lengthy piece from Mother


  • Here is the second in a series of pieces about IIRP’s 15th International Conference, Building a Worldwide Learning Network, that took place August 1-3, 2012. I’ll be writing about some of the great sessions I attended, beginning with one titled “Restore with a Smile: The Provocative Approach” presented by Jan and Laurien Ruigrok from the Netherlands.

    As you might be able to tell from the title of this workshop, Jan’s approach was unconventional. When I arrived at the session, everyone was seated in rows of chairs, but once it began the chairs went to the side and the room was turned into a play space. Jan said that Rule #1 of the provocative approach is: “Get yourself into the laughing state.” So when


  • 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.

  • An August 7, 2012 piece, "Researchers Sound Alarm Over Black Student Suspensions," at EdWeek by Nirvi Shah and Lesli A. Maxwell begins:

    Nearly one in six African-American students was suspended from school during the 2009-10 academic year, more than three times the rate of their white peers, a new analysis of federal education data has found.

  • via Flickr Creative Commons User: It's Our City[Today Kristen Graham in the Philadelphia Inquirer writes that the Student Reform Commission approved major revisions to the student conduct code: "The new policy is the most extensive set of revisions to the student rules in years." The policy "gives principals more latitude in meting out discipline and means that students cannot be suspended for infractions such as using profane language or failing to follow a dress code."

    Incoming Superintendent


  • Last week Lehigh Valley News reported on the IIRP's 15th World Conference. They focused on Steve Korr's plenary and related his talk to implementation of restorative practices in two Lehigh Valley School Districts, Allentown and Bethlehem. They quoted Korr below:

  • End Zero ToleranceStudent activists with Dignity in Schools Campaign Get Creative in How They Express Their Desire for Changes in New York City Schools Discipline PolicyLast week I posted the news that the Michigan State Board of Education was recommending an end to zero tolerance policies in public schools in the state. The trend toward reevaluating


  • Students and Community Push for Restorative Practicesfrom the CNS Press ConferenceStudents and community activists in Philadelphia are not satisfied with the new draft of the school district's discipline code, according to an article the other day in the Notebook, which bills itself as "an


  • The IIRP Class of 2012Saturday  June 23 was a beautiful day for the commencement ceremony of the fifth graduating class of the IIRP Graduate School, held in the Grand Ballroom of the Hotel Bethlehem in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA.

    Jeffrey Lyle Farr, Julia E. G. Getty, Angela Lorraine Hankins, Donald Lloyd Jackson, Stacy R. Phillips and Sharon Rose Jones Witbeck received Master of Science in Restorative Practices and Education.

    Jacqueline Joyce Exum, Mary Jo Hebling, Robin C. Ide,


  • In a resolution dated June 12, 2012, the Michigan State Board of Education states its call to end zero tolerance policies in no uncertain terms:

    Given the steadily increasing use of zero tolerance policies, the alarming rate of suspensions in school districts across Michigan, the lack of evidence these policies improve safety, and negative impact these disciplinary actions are having on student outcomes, the State Board of Education calls for schools across the state to adopt discipline policies without mandated suspension or expulsion for issues that do not involve weapons.

    The Board, along with the Superintendent of Public Instruction, remains absolutely committed to policies that preserve the safest


  • Here's a great little video just put out by San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) letting children and teens talk for themselves about their feelings and reactions to the implementation of restorative circles and restorative practices in their schools. The caption under the video on youtube reads:

    "SFUSD has rolled out a District-wide implementation of Restorative Practices in dozens of schools. Restorative Practices is based on the assumption that students respond better when things are done WITH them rather than TO them. Students exposed to Restorative Practices reflect on how they feel regarding the use of Restorative Circle in the classroom."

  • IIRP Visitation plus basic restorative practicesThe Fall Intensive is a rare opportunity to explore the full potential of restorative practices: a powerful four-day experience that will immerse you in the restorative culture of CSF Buxmont schools for delinquent and at-risk youth (IIRP demonstration programs), followed by two days of core restorative practices professional development. After two days of firsthand involvement in the restorative environment of a CSF Buxmont school, you can immediately deepen your understanding by learning about what you’ve just experienced.

  • Interdisciplinary Conference

    This interdisciplinary conference will provide an international perspective on restorative practices theory and practice in a variety of settings, including education, social welfare, criminal justice, community development and workplaces. Restorative practitioners from around the world will share their knowledge and achievements and find encouragement, support and advice.

  • This piece, titled "Restorative practices at home: A method used in some schools seems a useful tool in mommy’s toolbox," by Aimee Lewis Strain appeared July 3, 2012 in the San Carlos Patch. Strain began wondering about restorative practices when she read an article about its application in San Francisco schools. Here, in this creative column, she talks about how she attempted to resolve a conflict with her 7-year-old son not with a conventional punishment but rather with a conversation modeled on what she'd been reading. Strain gave us permission to re-post the entire piece here on the Restorative Practices Blog.

  • Here's the text of IIRP President Ted Wachtel's latest blog at Huffington Post.

    The bullying by middle school students of Karen Klein, a school bus monitor in upstate New York, captured on video and viewed by millions online, sends a distressing message about the state of civility in our society.

    Since the video of the incident "went viral," news reports say that Ms. Klein has received an outpouring of support, including contributions of hundreds of thousands of dollars to send her on a "dream vacation." At


  • Photo by Paul Sableman, Flick Creative Commons

    On May 9, 2012 a piece titled, "Jovenes Unidos Win Landmark Discipline Reform" was posted on the group's web site. It details a new law passed in Colorado which seems to do away with "zero tolerance" policy in schools – where children are summarily suspended or expelled for certain offenses.

    Late Wednesday evening, the