Sena, who was nominated by staff members to be trained as a restorative justice facilitator, said he expects the program to go a long way in keeping kids out of trouble.

"It's not really a punishment," he said. "It makes them recognize what they've done and restore the harm that they've brought to themselves and others."

Sena, who is on juvenile probation for two years for legal troubles that he didn't want to disclose, said he thinks his peers respond better to having someone their age and in their situation moderate the discussion, rather than an adult.

"Being student-led is more powerful," he said.

Mindy Logan, vice principal and counselor at Justice High, said the school has seven students being trained as restorative justice facilitators and four -- like Sena -- who have completed the training.

The first circle that Justice High did was for a girl who had been excessively truant, and Logan said it was tremendously helpful. She said students often don't realize how their behavior affects other people, and they often don't feel comfortable communicating the reason they're acting out.

Restorative justice prompts unprecedented conversations among students, parents and educators, Logan said.

"It helps them understand the impact and gives them ways to repair the harm," she said.

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