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How Can Restorative Practices Decrease “School to Prison Pipeline” Occurrences for Black Male Students?

Jones Russell, Martha
June 4, 2015

Source: (2013) Dissertation. Degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Drexel University.

In-depth interviews were conducted with nine Black male students who graduated from Restorative Practices schools. In-depth interviews were also conducted for 15 professionals who served as advocates for Black male students at Restorative Practices schools. An online focus group was also implemented. The three primary questions explored were how do Restorative Practices impact the “School to Prison Pipeline” as viewed by Restorative Practices Professionals, how do Restorative Practices impact Trauma and Intergenerational Trauma as it relates to Black male students, and how do Black males who attended a Restorative Practices school view their experience. Seven findings resulted from this study: 1) Zero tolerance as often applied has racial bias against Black male students; 2) Black male students face unacknowledged and unaddressed trauma that is caused by disenfranchisement, racial profiling, violence, erroneous identity; 3) Unacknowledged and unaddressed trauma often leads to a cycle of trauma; 4) Study only minimally affirmed that theories of Intergenerational Trauma is a “lived experience” of Black male students; 5) Restorative Practices was found to address the manifestations of Intergenerational Trauma which were primarily the same behaviors related to trauma response found in previous studies; 6) Some school models of Restorative Practices encompass cultural immersion education (referred to as Cultural Restorative Practices in this study); and 7) Cultural Restorative Practices that involved heritage immersion as an important component of Restorative Practices offered the greatest benefit for assisting Black male students with finding their authentic identities and healing from racial trauma. (Author’s abstract)


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