Source: (2008) Journal of School Violence. 7(4): 21-47.

While it is generally agreed that students responsible for misbehavior should be held accountable, the meaning of accountability and how it might best be achieved appear to remain ill-defined. In this article, we propose that accountability can be operationalized as a fourfold process. Based on related literature, experience, and empirical evidence, we argue that restorative approaches to students' harmful behavior have greater likelihood of facilitating meaningful accountability in schools than traditionally used exclusionary practices. Despite the significant adjustments required at all levels of the school environment, the potential for positive outcomes for students responsible for harms, their victims, and the general school environment favors the implementation of restorative responses.