Restorative Justice in the Classroom

By Dan Scratch: For More Info, Go Here…

Simply put, restorative justice is a relational and holistic approach to working with young people and shifting away from a retributive form of discipline. We know that much of the research over the last few decades has demonstrated that suspensions don’t necessarily teach the lessons we hope to embed within students and can often contribute to students lack of connection and belonging within the school. Many jurisdictions, such as the Toronto District School Board, have started collecting data in order to understand if disproportionate amounts of black, indigenous and students from lower socio-economic backgrounds are facing suspension and expulsion at higher rates than others. In many jurisdictions where this is turning out to be the case, educators are having difficult but necessary conversations about disciplinary policies in schools and classrooms.

(T)hinking about large-scale systemic change within education can feel daunting and can leave many of us in despair. I can completely understand this perception but would like to let folks know that we don’t have to wait for the system to change before we start rejecting punitive measures in our classrooms and replace them with a more holistic and relational approach to discipline.

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