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Articles exploring the inclusion of restorative practices in the school environment including statement of good practice.

Detroit students restore peace by talking it out
from the article by Charles Honey for Christianity Today: It all started with Twitter. Weekend tweets and re-tweets among two girls and their friends. She says she wants to fight her, he tweets it to others, word goes around. Come Monday, the threatened girl stays home from school. By Wednesday, four of them sit around a cafeteria table in a charter academy in Detroit, facing each other. Talking, not fighting is the way things are worked out here.
Youth United: We have a solution - restorative justice
from the entry by Haydi Torres and Blancy Rosales on Women in and beyond the Global: ....When students are suspended, we don’t get a chance to work on whatever it was that made us act out in the first place. And being sent home from school makes us feel like we don’t matter, that our school does not care about or believe in us.
Restorative justice?
from the post by Virago on KiwiBiker forum: This makes for some interesting reading: It's worthwhile clicking through some of the links to get all the details, but in a nutshell: A Victoria University employee, doing caretaking and security work, steals a student's cellphone while working. Seven months later, the victim tracks the phone down using smart-phone technology, and hands the evidence to the police. The culprit is arrested and charged, and he admits the theft.
Restorative justice helps at-risk kids in Oakland
from the article by Staphanie Chuang for NBC Bay Area: And these three know what it can all lead to. They’ve all been locked up in juvenile hall for various crimes, from auto theft to assault and battery. Morgan said the latter was what she was behind bars for at just 14 years old. She admitted to using a crowbar on a group of girls she said attacked her first. “I was so mad where I couldn’t stop myself. I started hitting them and hitting them and hitting them.”
Limiting the role of police in our schools
from the commentary by Ricardo Martinez in the Denver Post: ....In 2008, Padres y Jóvenes Unidos was involved in creating the most progressive student discipline code in the country, calling for an end to racial disparities in discipline and limiting the role of police in Denver Public Schools. Since then, out-of-school suspensions are down 25.7 percent; expulsions are down 48.8 percent; and Denver County Juvenile Court filings from DPS are down 43.3 percent.
Maureen Lempke on Restorative Approaches Implementation Pack for schools
pdf e-version of our free pack containing all the information for the implementation pack
Restorative justice for schools
From the entry by Lorenn Walker on Restorative Justice & Other Public Health Approaches for Healing: “Your son’s been hit in the head by another student,” the vice principal said when I answered the phone one day in 1999. My son was 13 and in the eighth grade. The vice principal added, “The other student has been suspended.” “Please don’t suspend him,” I asked, fearing it would make things worse. “It’s school policy,” the vice principal responded.
Restorative justice: the evolution of an issue
from the entry by Colette Kimball for the Prevention Researcher blog: ....It was 2007 when I was first asked about doing an issue on restorative justice by our author, Sandra Pavelka. Although I was potentially interested, two things kept this issue from happening more quickly: First, I felt like the literature surrounding restorative justice needed to have a stronger research-base; and, second, restorative justice was a concept and approach I struggled to fully understand. There are so many types of interventions that fall under the rubric of “restorative justice” that seeing the connections was difficult for me.
Three recommendations for Joe Biden's Gun Task Force
from the letter by Jancis Long and Mary Warkins for Psychologists for Social Responsibility: ….We see school attacks such as Newtown in the context of a broader culture that endorses force and violence as the way of resolving disputes, including war, urban violence and a harsh, punitive criminal justice system. As mental health professionals, we know that effective psychological treatment can help troubled individuals find safer ways to express themselves, and we unequivocally support early identification of mental health concerns and improved access to services for those who need them.
Restorative Approaches Implementation Pack for schools
from the website of Restorative Justice 4 Schools: We have seen so many schools wishing to develop a restorative approach re-invent so many of the same documents that we decided to produce a restorative approaches school implementation pack that we hope may support and guide you through this whole process.
Repairing circles: Chicago’s restorative justice community intercepts youth funneled through ‘School-to-Prison Pipeline’
from the article by Susan Du and Gideon Resnick on the Chicago Bureau: ….Sophia Hall, a Circuit Court Judge in Cook County, which covers Chicago, convenes a quarterly citywide restorative justice committee meeting that helps all manner of social workers specializing in faith-based, mental health and education services to network. One idea for expanding the reach of restorative justice practices in Chicago is to train organizations already providing social services throughout the city.
Denver schools seek restorative solution to age-old truancy problem
from the article by Karen Auge in the Denver Post: That is where DPS restorative justice expert Tim Turley came in. In the post-hearing discussion at MLK, Turley asked each of the four students: "Would you share with us your reasons for not going to school?" One of the two boys, Armando, whom teachers described as bright and athletic, told Turley, "I've been having migraine headaches."
Restorative justice community/classroom conferencing: A guide for parents and teachers
from the booklet by Nocole Pakan and the Society for Safe and Caring Schools and Communities It may seem surprising, but many children and youth often misbehave, not because they are trying to harm or disrupt the well-being of others or because they are “bad kids,” but because they are simply trying to meet a personal need, albeit in a negative way. “Children’s behaviours are determined, for the most part, by how they feel about the current state of their physical and psychosocial needs.”
Nova Scotia spends $500K on 'restorative justice' bullying program in schools
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.
'Restorative practices': Discipline but different
from the article by Nirvi Shah in Education Week: At City Springs and many other schools across the country, restorative practices are about holding students accountable and getting them to right a wrong. The approach is getting more notice than ever as criticism grows of zero-tolerance disciplinary policies that often require out-of-school suspension and expulsion. Educators are turning to restorative practices, peer courts in middle and high schools, and related efforts in the hopes of changing students' bad behaviors rather than simply kicking them out of school as punishment and risking disconnecting them from school altogether. "It's about building relationships and having [students] do what you want them to do because they want to do it—not because they're afraid of what the consequences are," said Rhonda Richetta, the principal of City Springs, which has 624 students. "We really want kids to change."
Investigating the implementation of restorative justice practices through circle time
from the article at Student Wellbeing Action Partnership; This project was undertaken at a Catholic single sex school. The school has a strong emphasis on student wellbeing and is continually looking at ways to improve the various programs offered and strategies employed at the whole school through a preventative approach to student management. Using restorative justice as opposed to retributive justice has grown significantly in schools recently. The values that underpin restorative justice complement very well the underlying values of our school. The choice to focus on circle time was based on a personal interest fostered by research and something that was achievable within the context of the project. In my current leadership position I am also responsible for reviewing, developing and implementing student wellbeing policies so I found myself in the ideal position to develop and deliver a worthwhile project.
Dalhousie offers restorative justice option for students
from the article on Dalhousie University students who end up in trouble with the law now have a way to try to right the wrong without having to go to court. The University, police and the province’s Justice Department have set up a restorative justice program just for students of the school. It’s the first program of its kind for university students in Canada.
Restorative city push picks up pace
from the article by Anne-Marie Emerson in the Wanganui Chronicle: "The restorative city idea grew out of the very successful Whanganui Restorative Justice service operated by the same trustees for the last 12 years. That service allows restoration to occur by bringing offender, victim and their families together to address what has happened in a way that meets everyone's needs, especially the victim."
Parent-to-parent guide: Restorative justice in Chicago Public Schools
from the booklet by the Parents of POWER-PAC: For too many of our children, “school discipline” has meant getting suspended or expelled—starting as young as kindergarten—being arrested, even in grade school—and ending up on the streets or in jail— without an education. We are Chicago Public School parents, from many different neighborhoods and backgrounds, raising kids of all ages. We work together in POWER-PAC, and built our “Elementary Justice Campaign: Stopping the School-to-Prison Pipeline” because we’ve felt at times that school discipline works against—not with—our children and families.
Restorative justice and its effects on (racially disparate) punitive school discipline
from the paper by David Simpson: ....Finally, I investigated whether the implementation of Restorative Justice significantly reduced racial disproportionality in school discipline vis-à-vis African American students. In particular, I analyzed whether the disparity in black suspension percentage as compared to white suspension percentage—measured by the difference between black suspension percentage and white suspension percentage)—was reduced by a greater amount in schools that implemented Restorative Justice than in those that did not. I confined my analysis on this point to only those schools that had white as well as black enrollment of over 20 students. I did so because otherwise small fluctuations in total suspension numbers and/or enrollment numbers would have improperly skewed my results.

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