Restorative practices

By David Washburn The two 9th-grade girls heard the laughing the minute they walked into their third-period class that December
The first victim-offender dialogue in Massachusetts occurred in 2006, when Janet Connors met with two of the men who had murdered her son Joel.
Simple strategies, such as the use of restorative circles in classrooms, provide opportunity for students to communicate with their peers and teachers about feelings and concerns, reducing the anxiety and misunderstanding that produce tension and conflict in schools.
The data shows that restorative practices in schools have a remarkable positive impact when employed by everyone in the school.
Both the NY Times and the Today Show stories do their audience a disservice by dwelling on forgiveness as the apparent reason for restorative justice. Forgiveness is neither an expectation nor a goal of restorative justice.
Can we agree that it is less expensive to run a safe school than a dangerous one, thus saving taxpayers money? Can we agree that before test scores can rise, students have to feel safe at school?
Restorative practices is a movement slowly transforming troubled schools and troubled communities around the globe -- a movement replacing zero tolerance and other punishment-based and wildly ineffective practices that increase people's feelings of separation and alienation from one another.