House bill further undermines public-school choice

The House of Representatives passed H-6021, a bill professing “to level the playing field” between the charter schools and the district schools.  First, note that the conflict is between two teams of adult players, while the students themselves are just the ball rolling off the court, again.  The bill’s concern is that charters enroll moreContinue reading “House bill further undermines public-school choice”

What do we want a justice system to accomplish?

The modern judicial system and restorative justice (RJ) both aim to support public peace and safety. But their methods have radically different outcomes. For a quick orientation, check out YRP’s side-by-side comparison. For a deeper understanding of distinctions, let’s start with a brief look at the beginnings of modern RJ. Originating in tribal circles, RJ hasContinue reading “What do we want a justice system to accomplish?”

Juvenile Justice and Restorative Conferencing

On The Law Matters with Municipal Judge David Bazar and Deb Morais, Julia discusses YRP’s Restorative Conferencing program in Rhode Island schools, and how this approach could bring new resources to the State’s juvenile justice system. We all agree that the focus of the justice system should be on “rehabilitation”, especially for young offenders. But that meansContinue reading “Juvenile Justice and Restorative Conferencing”

Chronically Misbehaving Kids Suffer Mental and Social Disease

Published by — Sometimes these students get a chance to  shake off the ‘bad kid’ self-image.  Too often not. Naturally, Faina Davis, a lawyer and head of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY), would have a happy-ish story about what happens when troubled kids connect with adults who practice Restorative Justice.  Far more often, kidsContinue reading “Chronically Misbehaving Kids Suffer Mental and Social Disease”

College Campus Discipline That Works

Published by — Revenge may be satisfying, but it rarely leads to positive change. Here’s a clear, real-life illustration of the use of Restorative Justice (RJ).  Skidmore professor David Karp tells the story of how the college handled two virtually identical incidents before and after the implementation of a RJ campus discipline system.  Karp literallyContinue reading “College Campus Discipline That Works”

Rhode Island’s New Law Mandates Recess for Kids

Published by — Apparently we need the states to step in to prevent the disappearance of playtime in school. Ask adults what their favorite subject in grade school was and often you’ll get “recess.”  Yes of course, they also liked the science of erupting volcanoes, reading intriguing stories, and hopefully much more.  But young bodies needsContinue reading “Rhode Island’s New Law Mandates Recess for Kids”

Little Kids Need Cool Places to Explore, Not Classroom Time

Published by — Doesn’t anyone worry that pre-school can teach kids to hate school earlier? Early childhood education has become this year’s education-fix obsession.  From the President of the United States to the President of the Rhode Island Senate, we’re now pinning our hopes for improved academic achievement on more for schooling low-income, urbanContinue reading “Little Kids Need Cool Places to Explore, Not Classroom Time”

Always Model Kindness, Especially to Children

Published by — The kindest response to unwanted behavior is to ask good questions. The trim, tall elementary teacher, whom we’ll call Ms. Larch, paused before answering the question that had been posed to everyone in the circle.  Larch was among a group of teachers from all levels in a Restorative Practices (RP) training.  RP, inContinue reading “Always Model Kindness, Especially to Children”