Restorative justice seeks to give the “author” of the action an opportunity to express what they felt and why they did what they did. It also gives the “receiver” of the action the opportunity to express how they felt, with a facilitator validating and interpreting the emotions and words of both author and receiver, said Michael Shimshak, Carbondale Elementary School District 95 principal.

....The real turning point didn’t come until the circle was convened in February, and he heard the teacher who had been the receiver of his actions express her emotion.

“He saw the hurt, he saw the pain, he saw what he had caused someone,” Bradley said. “I think it really was a turning point.”

Check-ins with the student were done every Monday, and they met in circles several more times. The result is a testament of what happens when a student feels loved and learns how to communicate.

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