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Nova Scotia spends $500K on 'restorative justice' bullying program in schools

Nov 23, 2012

from the article by Kris Sims in Sun News:

Nova Scotia is spending $500,000 to expand anti-bullying campaigns in schools, hoping "restorative justice" methods modelled after native sentencing circles can curb the problem in the province.

"Students will largely avoid the stigma of being 'sent to the office' or being suspended. We should not underestimate the negative side-effects of a child's experience at school if that experience involves multiple trips to the principal's office or suspensions from school," reads a government handout on the approach.

In this model, the teacher moderates, asks questions and does not assign blame for the behaviour.

"When children come back in from the playground at recess, and something happened to one of them a circle is called, everyone gets to talk about what happened, and the group decides on the consequences for the perpetrator," said Education Minister Ramona Jennex.

The method will be built and phased in over three years and will be offered across the province. Schools must opt-in to use it.

Read the whole article.

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