Restorative justice is a practice which emphasizes repairing the harm caused by negative behavior through a cooperative processes that includes all stakeholders, including teachers administrators and most importantly students. According to a California Workforce Innovation Network Keene Insights of September 2014 document entitled Restorative practice expanded learning programs,
“Traditional approaches to school discipline are harmful to youth.
The excessive use of punitive disciplinary measures like suspensions and expulsions is creating an ever-increasing problem in schools. Punitive approaches are connected to “a wide range of negative student outcomes, including lower academic achievement, increased risk of dropout, and increased contact with the juvenile justice system.” Instead of having their intended benefit of improving student behavior, punitive approaches tend to worsen students’ behavior and hasten disengagement from school.”
The educational system has been around for decades, yet changing based on technology, new educational standards, and culture. During 2011-2012 laws have passed such as, AB 1729 which require that other means of correction be used prior to in-school suspension. In addition to out-of-school suspension and AB 420 which allows teachers to suspend or expel students base of willful defiance which is a pipeline to prisons. Schools must now provide a comprehensive resolution list of what is included as alternatives or other means of correction or behavior modification? such as restorative justice practices opposed to punitive punishment. Restorative Justice League Educational Consulting goal is to provide the now program and system that will fit in with todays changes. In conjunction with the booming of technology and social media, we will be able to provide alternatives that states are requiring in schools and facilities alike by providing a complete prevention/intervention restorative justice best practices model.
Restorative Practices offer a more effective approach to the concept of discipline. This revolutionary idea of students determining disciplinary policy evolved from an overwhelming number of student suspensions and expulsions. In an attempt to redirect negative student behaviors, site coordinator Andre Griggs of Le Grand High school, founded the Restorative Justice League with 12 students and trained them to conduct peer reviews of misbehavior and establish appropriate restitution.