Using Restorative Justice or Restorative Practices in schools is a great way to address and prevent harm. There are many great programs and initiatives supporting our students. For today’s post, I’m gathering a few of the ones I’m aware of and the ones that I’ve found support or supply a lot of crossover with Restorative Justice.
I get the School Climate Matters Newsletter, and this month’s edition was full of good information. They also produce the School Climate Blog. These two items, the newsletter and blog are from the Center for Social and Emotional Learning.
If you haven’t been to the IIRP site SaferSanerSchools – it is worth reviewing. Wisconsin will be bringing Ted Wachtel, the founder of IIRP to the state for the Heart of the Matter Conference. Last year I attended this conference as an exhibitor and may do that again.
The Central Michigan Restorative Justice Initiative has been working in area schools and has documented the changes their program has produced. They have some notecards for sale that are from student art work, and they are only $10 for 10.
My friend Matt, does a blog on Restorative Practices in Schools, Life Skoolz. Matt and I are twitter – peeps as well. He initiated a talk with me, and that was really cool. We exchanged our stories for getting into this work. Matt is a wilderness educator and when you are out in nature, you can’t send a kid to the principal’s office. So restorative practices really made sense to him.
There are many great resources for schools. I read that each school is trying to do 14 different prevention initiatives at once! Between getting the sugar out of the lunchroom vending machines to prevent obesity and the red ribbon “war on drugs”, there are initiatives pulling our staff in every direction. I think “character counts” and “citizenship” are great places for school efforts. I think Restorative Justice really works to build up empathy, which in turn helps students help each other.
Someone shared with me a banner above a courtroom. Two angels held a banner that said ‘Prevent the Wrong”.