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Resources for developing restorative processes in the school setting.

Book Review: Discipline that restores
Black male conundrum
From Sarah Karp's article in Catalyst Chicago: In Chicago’s public schools, African-American males are suspended and expelled at a higher rate than any other student group. Yet educators are working to raise black male graduation rates, creating a classic case of policy and practice at odds.
Improving School Climate: Findings from Schools Implementing Restorative Practices
From the International Institute for Restorative Practices e-Forum: The International Institute for Restorative Practices has compiled a 36-page booklet of findings from schools in the United States, England and Canada that are implementing restorative practices.
Restorative Justice: Working with students
Part 2 of a series in the Badger Herald: While restorative justice programs are showing up across the country for many different state and federal criminals, the University of Colorado-Boulder and Skidmore College, among others, have decided to adopt such programs to introduce their students to non-traditional penalties.
Morrison, Brenda. Regulating safe school communities: being responsive and restorative
This paper will introduce a whole-school approach to regulating safe school communities, based on principles of restorative justice. The idea is to move beyond regulatory formalism to a stance of response regulation, whereby the needs of the school community can be better met. The approach will incorporate a continuum of practices across three levels of regulation. The primary level of intervention targets all students, with an aim to develop students' social and emotional competencies, particularly in the area of conflict resolution. This first stage aims to enable students to resolve their differences in caring and respectful ways. The secondary level of practices involves a larger number of participants in the resolution of the conflict or concern, as the problem has become protracted or has involved (and affected) a larger number of people. The tertiary level of intervention involves the participation of an even wider cross-section of the school community, including parents, guardians, social workers, and others who have been affected. This intervention is typically used for serious incidents within the school, such as acts of serious violence. At each level, the processes involved are based on principles of restorative justice, such as inclusive and respectful dialogue. The aim is to build safe school communities through being more responsive and more restorative. Author's abstract.
Wright, Martin. Book Review: Just schools: A Whole School Approach to Restorative Justice
Wright reviews Justice Schools: A Whole School Approach to Restorative Justice by Belinda Hopkins.
Egan, Meredith. A Story of Restorative Justice Values and Principles in a School Setting
This paper consists of a resource tool for students, parents, and school staff to explore restorative justice values and principles in a school setting. It was used in a workshop for high school students in Mission, British Columbia, to wrestle with conflict, friendship, and authority. In the paper Meredith Egan presents a fictitious scenario concerning two students on a date to the school prom and a teacher/chaperone when the young couple arrive at the dance. Though the school board had enacted a "zero tolerance" policy to inhibit the use of alcohol by students, the two students had drunk some alcohol just before coming to the dance. The teacher/chaperone and the students must deal with the problem arising from the school board policy, the students' actions, and the relationships between the teacher, the students, and even the students' families.
Casella, Ronnie. Zero Tolerance Policy in Schools: Rationale, Consequences, and Alternatives
This article discusses theory and related policies that support zero tolerance policy in schools, including rational choice theory in criminology and national crime policies based on deterrence. Potential consequences of zero tolerance policy implementation in schools are also described. These consequences are shown to involve outcomes similar to those identified by researchers who have studied national crime policy, especially in relation to incarceration. Drawing from the qualitative data, anecdotal evidence, and related research, the article concludes with suggestions for violence prevention based on a model of restorative justice, including a practical agenda for what schools may do to prevent violence and to discipline students who act aggressively.
Varnham, Sally. Seeing things differently: restorative justice and school discipline.
Bullying, harassment, anti-social behaviour, drug abuse — in recent years many safety issues concerning student behaviour confront school authorities. How should schools respond to behaviour which threatens school safety? Much discussion surrounds school responses and the levels of stand downs, suspensions and expulsions. There is debate also concerning the pre-emptive measures, such as searching and drug testing, introduced by schools in an attempt to guard against such behaviour. The question needs to be asked: why do young people behave badly in school? Is it that the majority of students feel that schooling is something that is ‘done to them’ rather than a process in which they are active valued and significant participants. Should schools be moving towards more meaningful involvement of students not only in building the school community but in solving problems within that community? There is a currently a great deal of research in New Zealand and the comparative jurisdictions concerning both the teaching of citizenship in formal education and the introduction of school cultures which embrace the right to participation of young people. This paper picks up on the theme of citizenship in schools by considering processes by which conflict and safety issues may be dealt with by the school community as a whole, based on the restoration of relationships rather than punishment. It looks particularly at restorative justice practices such as peer mediation in the case of student conflict and school community conferencing. Author's abstract.
Morrison, Brenda. Restorative Justice In Schools.
Tyler's work on procedural justice shows that individuals care about justice because of concerns over social status, i.e., the value attributed to their roles and characteristics within the institutions of which they are a part. Braithwaite's reintegrative shaming theory argues that shame over wrongdoing is related to an individual's sense of belonging within the relevant institutional group, such as family or school. Shame acknowledgement is associated with taking responsibility for behavior and making appropriate amends; shame displacement is associated with retaliatory anger, externalizing blame, and displaced anger. Restorative justice is the means for implementing procedural justice and constructively managing shame within a school community. Margaret Thorsborne, a school guidance officer in a high school in Queensland, Australia, introduced restorative justice to her school in 1994. She established the first school-based restorative justice conference to address the issues raised by a serious assault at a school dance. The offender and victim, along with their parents, met together to discuss what happened and what to do about it. The outcome was to remedy the harms caused while addressing the issues underlying the bullying behavior of the offender. Since that time, the use of restorative justice conferencing in schools has developed in many countries to address such school issues as vandalism, theft, bullying, drug-related incidents, and violence. Restorative justice provides procedural justice by affirming the social status of both victims and offenders within the school community, by remedying the harms caused, and by providing a constructive means of managing the shame caused by the offender's temporary loss of status due to his/her behavior. Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service,
Hadhazi, Livia. Application of the conflict management technique "Face to face" in the Zöld Kakas Líceum Secondary School.
The Family, Child, Youth Priority Non-Profit Association contacted our school in 2000 through MᲩa Herczog, one of their co-workers. She had been looking for a good place (institution) to try out a new method of conflict managing system. She chose our school, because there are and have always been "drop-out" students. Drop-out students - with behaviour problems mainly. The basic principles of my school are as follows: Humanistic approach, Managing conflicts in an open way, Treating students as equal co-workers. All the teachers were ready to accept, to study and to apply this new system, so the Association organised a training for us to become facilitators. From the year after we started to build in this restorative view in a progressive way into the education of our first year students. At the same time, we started to apply the method in real conflicts, to manage real cases. I thought that students would rather turn to somebody else for help at their age, rather than to a teacher. Therefore I organised a "face to face" SIG [special interest group] and started to train students with strong motivation to become peer facilitators. (excerpt)
Gutling, Bernd-Uwe and Semper, Anja. Mediation in schools "MeinS" (abstract).
The presenters will show how victim-offender mediation works in schools. They will discuss the training of school mediators and the rules for the mediation practice. They will show a video (11 minutes) developed with 13-year old children in a school in Oldenburg [Germany]. This video shows the different steps of the development of conflicts in schools and how they can be solved by means of mediation. Authors' abstract.
Blood, Peta and Thorsborne, Margaret. The Challenge of Culture Change: Embedding Restorative Practice in Schools
This paper seeks to broaden the perspectives of senior and middle management and restorative practitioners around what restorative practice in schools can look like; and to present some practical guidelines which represent a strategic approach to the implementation of restorative practices, so that they "stick" -- that is, become sustainable. It represents a work in progress and the authors encourage readers to engage with them in ongoing dialogue about the issues (we don't know all the answers yet!) and share with us their butterfly (successes) and bullfrog (failures) stories, in meeting the challenges of developing a restorative culture within schools (Zehr, 2003). It should be noted that there is an overwhelming body of literature (Hargreaves, 1997, Fullan, 2000 etc) dealing with school reform, effective teaching, classroom and behaviour management practice and that this paper focuses on the implementation of restorative practice in schools. (excerpt)
Kecskemeti, Maria. Restorative Conversations - Is changing ways of speaking enough to change relationships, discipline systems and school cultures?
Ways of speaking that call for achieving greater control by teachers over students as a response to problems and that require students to be more docile in the management of their behaviours are among the most readily available relationship and behaviour management practices that are used in schools. Though most schools try to foster a climate of inclusion on a policy level, there are many schools that struggle to make their discipline and behaviour management system work. In this paper I propose that ideas from positioning theory have potential for supporting the development of restorative behaviour management practices. I argue that such ideas should first be applied to the many daily conversations that teachers and students have with each other. I will show, through excerpts from conversations, how calling on positioning theory could produce ways of speaking that are restorative of relationships. I suggest that such ways of speaking can not only enrich the repertoire of restorative practices but they can form the basis of behaviour management strategies and discipline systems that are based on respect and foster a culture of inclusion. Abstract courtesy of the Centre for Justice and Peace Development, Massey University,
Moxon, Judith and Armstrong, Margaret and Thorsborne, Margaret. Advancing the restorative agenda into the classroom
Restorative conferencing is no longer new to schools. Increasingly in Australia, New Zealand and in other countries, schools, in an attempt to reverse unhealthy statistics of stand-downs, suspensions and exclusions, have adopted the conference to deal with incidents of serious harm. But education professionals know that most of the "action" occurs in classrooms and that school and class "removal" is better viewed as a process not an event (Skiba et al, 2003). This interactive presentation will briefly explore some models for the successful integration of the restorative philosophy into classroom practice. Divided in to three parts, it will allow participants an insight into current thinking and practice which delivers positive outcomes for teachers, students and their classmates in the wake of wrongdoing. Part 1: School removal and restorative conferencing: This will be a brief overview of the history of restorative conferencing in schools and current research about the risks associated with the overuse of school removal and zero tolerance as disciplinary strategies. Part 2: Restorative Conferencing in Classrooms: This will, using a case study approach, demonstrate the use of classroom conferencing to deal with a variety of difficult classroom dynamics, where young people are made accountable to each other and their teachers, instead of the traditional practice of removing them for referral to deputies, deans or other disciplinarians. This demonstrates the restorative agenda at work in the busiest place in the school - the classroom. Part 3: Responding restoratively to classroom disruption in the moment: This is an exploration of the use of a highly successful restorative adaptation of the Responsible Thinking Programme - a process that may include a student's temporary removal from the classroom. Abstract courtesy of the Centre for Justice and Peace Development, Massey University,
Hopkins, Belinda. Just Schools: A Whole School Approach to Restorative Justice
By 'justice' Belinda Hopkins means fairness, and the restorative approach that she describes is based on respecting the individuality of everyone in a school - adults as well as children - although the reader is slightly thrown off the scent by Guy Masters' foreword on using restorative methods in the criminal justice system. Hopkins, a former teacher, describes how to start a restorative programme in a school. Part II, 'Restorative skills and processes', outlines how to become a 'listening school', with suggested techniques for encouraging children to work out their rights and responsibilities. The restorative approaches to bullying will be of interest to many people. She believes in mediation as a process of transforming relationships and attitudes. She describes five basic steps, obviously writing from her own experience. Throughout she stresses the importance of a whole-school approach, and she acknowledges the need for a careful balance between blaming the victim and recognizing that his or her behaviour sometimes provokes an attack. There is a section on circles, which can also be used by governors, staff and others in resolving conflicts. The last part is about implementation and sustainability, and grasps the nettle by questioning whether rewards and punishments are the best way of managing relationships. Howard Zehr's paradigms of retributive and restorative justice are adapted to make them relevant for schools. After a discussion of consistency and voluntariness , Hopkins gives more guidance on five stages for making a start, recognizing that the aim should not be merely 'negative peacemaking' to make children behave, but to show them conflict management skills. Schools should be not merely re-structured, bur re-cultured, and the restorative method introduced in teacher training. Finally, some of the text diagrams are helpfully reprinted in reproducible form.
Bowes, David. The Real Kindergarten Cop
In 1990, Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in the movie "Kindergarten Cop" as a policeman working undercover as a substitute teacher in a school. David Bowes, a research officer with the Thames Valley Police Restorative Justice Consultancy, describes in this article an entirely different but successful approach to policing in schools and the local community. This approach has been pioneered by the Thames Valley Police in Bretch Hill, a housing estate in the Oxfordshire town of Banbury. The approach includes police in partnership with community individuals and organizations, crime prevention through various early interventions with school children, and restorative conferencing in schools.
Haft, William. More Than Zero: The Cost of Zero Tolerance and the Case for Restorative Justice in Schools.
There is a trend in public education toward "zero tolerance" policies. Zero tolerance policies are designed to suspend or expel from public schools students who commit a single occurrence of proscribed conduct. The trend is largely a response to increased youth violence or the perception of increased youth violence, particularly in the aftermath of the Columbine High School shootings. In this context, William Haft contends that zero tolerance responses directly counter a fundamental purpose of public education, namely, the purpose of preparing children to live in a democratic society. Exclusionary policies should be a last resort not a first resort. Hence, it is necessary to have intermediate responses available to teachers and administrators. Haft urges the application of restorative justice principles and practices - particularly victim-offender mediation - as alternative responses to exclusionary policies in school settings.
Editor. SFU researchers study anti-violence policies in British Columbia’s public schools
Recent incidents of violence in schools – from bullying to murder – have prompted governments across North America to respond with strict, zero-tolerance policies, including suspension and expulsion of students for a range of aggressive behaviors. Some researchers, however, question such policies. They characterize those responses as "band-aid" solutions that satisfy parental or community concerns and legal obligations, but do not address the many root causes of youth violence or eliminate youth violence in the long term. Researchers at Simon Fraser University have evaluated intervention programs for youth at risk in schools and communities, and they are currently compiling a comprehensive summary of anti-violence policies and programs in British Columbia schools. On the basis of their work, they argue for multi-level policies and programs – utilizing, for example, community building, peer counseling, and student empowerment – that shift the focus from controlling violent behavior to fostering a culture of respect and caring in schools.
Bodine, Richard and Crawford, Donna. Conflict Resolution Education: A Guide to Implementing Programs in Schools, Youth-Serving Organizations, and Community and Juvenile Justice Settings; Program Report
The first chapter defines conflict as a natural condition and examines the origins of conflict, responses to conflict, and the outcomes of those responses. It presents the essential principles, foundation abilities, and problemsolving processes of conflict resolution; discusses the elements of a successful conflict resolution program; and introduces four approaches to implementing conflict resolution education. Each of the next four chapters discusses one of these four approaches and presents examples of programs that use the approach. One chapter describes an approach to conflict resolution education characterized by devoting a specific time to teaching the foundation abilities, principles, and one or more of the problemsolving processes of conflict resolution in a separate course or distinct curriculum. Another chapter describes an approach in which selected, trained individuals provide neutral third-party facilitation in conflict resolution. A chapter presents an approach that incorporates conflict resolution education into the core subject areas of the curriculum and into classroom management strategies, and another chapter presents a comprehensive whole-school methodology that builds on the previous approach. The next two chapters address conflict resolution education in settings other than traditional schools, including juvenile justice and community settings. The final three chapters address more overarching topics: conflict resolution research and evaluation; a developmental sequence of behavioral expectations in conflict resolution; and the process of developing, implementing, and sustaining a conflict resolution program. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,

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