What happens at the end of the year
Greg Lawton's post on Central Michigan Restorative Justice Initiative:
It's late May. The last day of school for 2009-10 is about 11 days away. For most of the students, teachers, faculty and staff it couldn't come sooner. For Restorative Justice workers like myself, it can be a difficult time. Due to the cumulative effect of discipline, minor misconduct can result in suspension, often for the rest of the year. Student follow-ups are hard to do because of absences, field trips, and assemblies. Day to day operations take a different tack. I find myself wanting to be part of the whole school effort to end well and I practice being a peaceful presence all the more.
But I also think about all the students for whom the end of the school year is not a blessing. The ones who have difficult home situations to return to. The ones who have no home to return to. The ones for whom a summer with less to do day after day can lead to unfortunate decisions or consequences.
These students, the ones who may only get noticed for their misbehavior, or might not get noticed at all, are on my mind today.