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A “proactive” restorative conference

Sep 09, 2009

from Matthew Kuehlhorm's blog Life Skoolz:

As the meeting progressed, tempers cooled and people began to listen. Ultimately, the kids agreed to the boundaries set by security and the college administrators. Campus security also had a chance to meet the kids and now knows who they are when they do come onto campus. Campus is open to them after all.

It was an interesting phenomenon to watch the conference play out because the parents and kids assumed this was an end of the line process. They never experienced anything proactively in the past and thought their kids were in trouble for something that never happened. This is true restorative practices.

There are too many “programs” available that utilize restorative practices as the end of the line. It is not something that happens after relationships are damaged. We can talk and listen all the time to maintain relationships. And build relationships. The kids now know their boundaries and they know the people who enforce them. Should they cross the boundaries it is very clear that they will be punished—hopefully, within a restorative conference setting. Nonetheless, they have all the tools with them right now to make good decisions about their actions on campus.

Read the whole entry as well as the post before this one to get a fuller picture about the conference.

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