At Last! A Review of Research on Restorative Justice In Schools

Published by EducationNews.org — Early studies of RJ programs in the US show their impact in reducing suspensions and harmful behavior. Local Restorative Practices/Restorative Justice (RP/RJ) initiatives have been starving for research on America’s efforts to implement programs.  The large body of evidence showing the ineffectiveness of punishment doesn’t seem to make an adequately compelling argument for supporting Restoration.  And […]

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Communities Create Their Own Safety; Police Only Help

Published by EducationNews.org — We can fall into the habit of thinking the responsibility for certain problems belongs to someone else. David Karp, who directs Skidmore College’s Project on Restorative Justice, tells this story:  Some time ago, a student, whom we’ll call Sarah, came to class one day visibly upset.  She’d been “harmed,” in the language of […]

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San Antonio’s Restoration Center Weaves a Social-Support Fabric

Published by EducationNews.org — It can be done:  a coherent and effective system for dealing with mental illness. Back in the 1970s, Leon Evans became the director of a community mental health center in San Antonio, Texas.  A social worker by training, Evans knew how to manage organizations that deal with mental illness, keeping afloat often-stressed frontline workers […]

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Drugs, Drop-outs and Restorative Justice Conferencing

Published by EducationNews.org — When a student knows what she wants, it’s a lot easier to help her get through trouble. The lovely Roxanna, as we’ll call her, sighed heavily as she joined a circle that included a school administrator, two conference facilitators and her very pissed-off dad.  The teacher who had promised to make it could […]

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School Suspensions Model the Wrong Behavior for Students

Published by EducationNews.org — By our actions, we teach intolerance. Last week we looked at reasons why kids misbehave — how sometimes they can’t or they won’t act in community-appropriate ways.  Whether it’s a choice for them or not, it’s always a big pain for the people around them. So this week we’ll look at the […]

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Instead of School Suspensions, Let’s Listen to Kids

Published by EducationNews.org — Kicking out the disruptive kids is convenient.  But what do we, or they, learn from it? Allow me to say right off the top that I believe each out-of-school suspension is a symptom of a mental or social issue.  I’d call them symptoms of disease, but some are more like sniffles. In […]

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Mental Health Does Not Mean Mental Illness

Published by EducationNews.org — Why the paucity of information about maintaining good mental health? I’m sure the ex-Congressman Patrick Kennedy had little to do with the copywriting for his new website, One Mind.  But I wish he’d read it more closely.  Kennedy has done great service lending his celebrity to advocating for the mentally ill in […]

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What If South Carolina’s Body-Slammed Teen Had Been Treated Restoratively?

Published by EducationNews.org — There may be no good excuse for disrupting class, but a punitive response can just exacerbate the problem. Restorative practices are simple tools for handling conflict in ways that maximize the possibility of a happy ending.  The practices are habits of the mind and heart.  So let’s revisit last October’s nasty incident at […]

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New Year’s Resolution: Take the Time to Restore Kids’ Lives

Published by EducationNews.org — Do we leave problems to fester, or do we put in the effort, unpack the problem and come up with answers? A few years ago a kid we’ll call Leon transferred from a big urban district to the small, even poorer district where I consult on restorative practices.  As a 7th grader, Leon was small […]

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Christmas Is About Belonging to the ‘We of Me’

Published by EducationNews.org — Sadly, in our fragmented society, adults often find families optional.  Not the kids. In one of my favorite plays, Carson McCullers’ Member of the Wedding, 12-year-old Frankie is frantic with loneliness.  She calls herself “unjoined.”  Her mother died in her childbirth; her father has little attention for her.  She craves membership […]

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