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

School's disciplinary message: We want you here
from Anne Stuhldreher's article in the San Francisco Chronicle: The head of security at Richmond High School is Darryl Robinson. But everyone there knows him as "Coach D." When he started 15 years ago, fights broke out nonstop. Students roamed the halls. And things didn't improve much over the years. Robinson remembers standing in front of a classroom and asking how many students had ever seen someone get killed. "Every hand in the room shot up," he said.
Study: Zero tolerance policies may have negative health implications for students
from the article by James Swift in Juvenile Justice Information Exchange: A new report based on research of three California school districts suggests that school children exposed to so called, “zero tolerance” policies may be taking a toll on their mental health and wellbeing.
NCHERM-CR announces summit on the application of restorative justice practices to cases of campus sexual misconduct
from the press release of the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management The NCHERM-CR, the Conflict Resolution Practice Group of The National Center for Higher Education Risk Management ( www.ncherm.org ), will be hosting a two-day invitational Summit on the use of restorative justice practices in student-on-student sexual misconduct cases. This Summit is being convened to explore ways in which forms of conflict resolution, and especially restorative justice practices, may be utilized lawfully, productively and beneficially to improve on the traditional approaches used in student disciplinary proceedings.
Crime and entertainment at Franklin High
from the article by Rick Holmes in MetroWest Daily News: When outrage-inducing incidents become media sensations, the authorities respond with the tools they have available. Educators point to politically popular “zero tolerance” policies. ....Police charge the thugs with whatever laws they can find — even unlawful wire tapping — and set the wheels of justice turning. There will be lawyers and hearings and plea bargains, fines and probably time behind bars.
Restorative justice in higher education: A compilation of formats and best practices
from the guide by Justine Darling: ....There are many restorative tools and processes that can be used in the university setting. This guide is specific to Judicial and Residential Life processes within Institutions of Higher Education. Addressed below are the five most common methods of implementation that are used at the 9 colleges and universities in this study. The goal of all 5 Restorative Processes is for the respondent to acknowledge responsibility, identify harm and obligations, and develop a restorative plan agreed upon by the person responsible and impacted parties. Language used in Restorative Judicial Processes is different than the language used in Traditional Judicial Processes so that stigmatization is less likely to occur.
High Hopes Campaign releases a new report about restorative justice
from an article on www.suspensionstories.com: ....This week, the Campaign released a new report, From Policy to Standard Practice: Restorative Justice in Chicago Public Schools,” which illustrates that restorative justice practices improve school attendance, student achievement, school safety and culture. The key recommendations call for CPS to:
Chicago Public School students face racial discipline gap: Education Department
from the entry by Joy Resmovits on huffingtonpost.com In Chicago public schools, black students receive harsher punishments for in-school infractions than white students, a fact that mirrors a nationwide trend, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Education Tuesday. The report paints a startling picture of racial disparities in how students are disciplined in schools across the country.
Campaign on way to counter cyberbullies
from Anthony Loncaric's article in Brimbank Weekly: Parents living in the north-west are calling for more support to deal with cyberbullying as the state government prepares a new advertising campaign to encourage young people to speak up. Education Minister Martin Dixon said the campaign would be similar to the hard-hitting advertisements aimed at reducing the road toll.
Applying a restorative justice approach to student conduct
from the article by Daniel Fusch in Academic Impressions: ....Taking an RJ approach requires a philosophical shift for the student conduct office – it entails new sets of questions for student conduct hearings and an alert ear for cases in which there is the possibility to restore harm that’s been done, rather than simply (or only) penalize. ....To learn more about how to make a restorative justice program most successful, we interviewed two officials from Colorado State University, which has frequently been recognized for its restorative justice and other student conduct programs. The two officials are Paul Osincup and Melissa Emerson, the associate and assistant directors of conflict resolution and student conduct services at CSU. Paul Osincup holds student conduct hearings; Melissa Emerson manages the restorative justice process once a student has been referred as a likely RJ candidate.
More action needed to bolster good behavior
from the article by Alan J. Borsuk in the Journel Sentinel: I don't know exactly what happened during a funeral at a church at N. 53rd and W. Burleigh streets last Tuesday, but I know it was bad. I know a lot more about what happened in the library at Bradley Tech High School the next morning, and I know it was good.
UC explores restorative justice in improving campus climate
from Harry Mok's article in UC Newsroom: A residence hall fire alarm is pulled as a drunken prank in the middle of the night. A fellow resident, who happens to be gay, witnesses it and confronts the culprit as the building is evacuated. In the exchange of words, the prankster utters a pejorative term for a homosexual man in a profanity-laced tirade. Fortunately, the situation was just part of a role-playing exercise. Twenty-three student affairs staff members, from all 10 University of California campuses, took part in training for restorative justice, a conflict resolution process that UC is considering for use when dealing with incidents of intolerance or hate, particularly for conduct that, while offensive, may not violate any laws or policies.
Editorial: Losing tolerance over zero-tolerance policies
from the Denver Post: Few events have shaped school discipline policies the way the 1999 Columbine High School massacre has — not just in Colorado but around the nation. Zero tolerance became a catchphrase for "doing-everything-possible-to-make-sure-this-never-happens-again."
Chicago Heights school helps launch anti-violence initiative
from the article by Jessica Villarreal in the Southtown Star: A number of characters were involved in a troubling incident at school. Their names fit their roles in the anger-sparked altercation: China Doll, Joe Swag, Bob Lame. But while the story that was acted out recently in a courtroom at the Daley Center in downtown Chicago was fictional, the program behind it is real and has a serious goal: reducing youth violence in the Chicago area.
Restorative hub-school model
from Restorative Approaches in Norfolk Schools: Norfolk County Council Children’s Services are currently working on a restorative hub-school model with the aim that schools who are proficient and committed to using restorative approaches can provide support and guidance to other schools.
“Somebody could have died that day.”
from the article by Laura Mirsky in Restorative Practices Blog: “Somebody could have died that day.” That’s what a student said after a fight nearly erupted at a small Detroit high school last month. But a restorative circle squashed the tension and prevented a tragedy.
Dade County schools hit upon alternative measures of punishment through restorative justice
from the article by Jimmie Davis, Jr in the Westside Gazette: It’s easy for administrators at Miami-Dade County Public Schools [MDCPS] to suspend and expel students for misconduct, but the underlying is-sue of why pupils misbehave will not be resolved. So instead of rushing to ruin a kid’s career, the Educational Transformation Office [ETO] has embraced Restorative Justice at some of the “Rising 19” schools to address the root causes of why kids act out. In particular African American and Latino students are getting kicked out more than Caucasians, which leaves them vulnerable to getting into more trouble and they end up catching a charge and facing time behind bars.
Program to revamp student justice
from the article by Libby Jelinek in The Vista University of San Diego (USD) alum Justine Darling, '08, has collaborated with Student Affairs to establish a one-year pilot restorative justice program on campus that has the potential to transform how students experience USD's student conduct system. ....The one-year pilot program will implement restorative justice conferencing and peace circles to find solutions for issues in the campus community. The restorative justice process focuses on three main goals: to empower, to educate and to build relationships. Throughout the program, students are involved and invested in the decision-making process. The most valuable aspect of restorative justice, according to Darling, is that students learn another way to handle conflict in their lives, such that bringing the offender and impacted parties together can develop what would otherwise be a negative relationship into a positive one.
More tolerance in new Chicago Public Schools code of conduct
from Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah's article in the chicago Tribune: Chicago Public Schools has adopted a new student discipline policy that one parent group says moves the district a step away from zero tolerance. Staff members are being told to treat minor infractions as learning opportunities to reinforce positive behavior. Out-of school suspensions are to be used as a last resort. CPS officials said for the most serious infractions, restorative justice--programs such as peace circle and a jury of student peers determining punishment--can be offered in addition to suspensions and expulsions.
James Madison University embraces restorative justice
from the news page at Eastern Mennonite University: In just three years, Josh Bacon has mobilized some 50 administrators and staff members in nearly a dozen departments sprawled across the 665-acre campus of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, to embrace restorative justice practices when dealing with each other and with students. Bacon says it is not a difficult “sell.” One person gets hooked on restorative justice and tells another person and soon a group evolves to attend a restorative justice short seminar, with some continuing to multiple-day trainings. “The point is, RJ [restorative justice] works,” says Bacon. “And lots of other interventions used for years with students don’t.”
Restorative Justice in schools, further reading resources!
from Kris Miner's post in Restorative Justice and Circles: The newest item published for school based restorative justice: http://www.acschoolhealth.org/Docs/Restorative-Justice-Paper.pdf I would also recommend:

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