Create More Disciplinary Options Than just Suspensions and Cops

Published by EducationNews.org — “You’re outta here” gets the problem off the school’s plate — and postpones any real solution. If you look into school-suspension data — state or local — you’ll find a bunch of numbers that tell you nothing about the severity of the offenses.  You’ll find high rates clustered in vague categories like […]

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Politicians, How Are Your Constituent Children?

Published by EducationNews.org — If the kids are in rough shape, likely the community is too. Heather Dos Santos, middle-school principal and skilled restorative practitioner, begins her presentations with “Kasserian Ingera,” which, in Swahili, means, “How are the children?”  She explains that this is the conventional greeting among the Masai who live on the plains of […]

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To End School-to-Prison Pipeline, Focus on Mental Health

Published by EducationNews.org —  We’re such a punitive culture, we don’t even look for alternatives to driving them insane, knowingly. God knows what possessed me, but instead of multi-tasking I stayed glued to every hideous moment of PBS’s Solitary Nation.  The Warden of Maine State Prison, Rodney Bouffard, so questions the practice of solitary confinement that […]

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Rebuilding Broken Trust in a College Community

Published by EducationNews.org — Nothing is more convenient than the kick-out solution.  But avoiding unpacking the conflict weakens the community. Professor David Karp runs a Restorative Justice initiative at Skidmore College and researches college-student discipline practices.  He tells this story:  Two students at a Colorado college got the brilliant idea that a prank could liven up […]

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We’re Crippling Our Kids with Fear

Published by EducationNews.org — What I hear us saying to the kids is:  “The world is terrifying and you can’t handle it, so we’ll protect you.” While hiking in the Finger Lakes region, I watched as a three-year-old did a major face plant on a stone path.  Fellow hikers gasped with horrified “Oh, no!”s and were […]

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Children and Youth Voices are a Wealth of Information

Published by EducationNews.org — Part 5 of 5 on Leeds’ efforts to become a Child-Friendly City.  (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4) Last November, the Lord Mayor and Mayoress of Leeds, England invited 10 sixth-graders, 10 and 11-year-olds, to tea at their home.  Annually, for the last 10 years, the Leeds City Council has invited all the […]

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Child-Friendly Cities Are the Goal, Restoration Is the ‘How’

Published by EducationsNews.org — Part 4 of 5 on Leeds’ efforts to become a Child-Friendly City.  (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) In 2010, Leeds, the 3rd largest city in England, filched Nigel Richardson from his post as Director of Children’s Services in nearby Hull.  He’d led the charge to make Hull the world’s first “Restorative […]

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The Beauty Of Helping People Feel They’ve Been Heard

Published by EducationNews.org — Part 3 of 5 on Leeds’ efforts to become a Child-Friendly City (Part 1, Part 2) In 2005, when Nigel Richardson became their Director of Children’s Services, the city of Hull was sometimes called “the Detroit of England.”  Hull sits on the big gash of a river, the Humbert, that cuts towards […]

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What Is a Child-Friendly City? Why Should We Care?

Published by EducationNews.org — Part 2 of 5 on Leeds’ efforts to become a Child-Friendly City (Part 1) In 1989 the United Nations completed a 10-year multi-national negotiation that resulted in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  To this day, this treaty signed by 193 nations remains the largest international set of agreements […]

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Healthy Families Spawn Healthy Economic Conditions

Published by EducationNews.org — Part 1 of 5 on the efforts of Leeds, UK to become a Child-Friendly City. If a municipality or state got really serious about investing in the health and welfare of their kids, wouldn’t the economy also get healthier? I don’t mean political blah-blahing about “the children are our future.”  I’ll scream […]

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