Source: (2005) School Board News (National School Boards Association). May 17.
School administrators, who until now have used expulsion as a last disciplinary option, have begun to employ restorative justice as an effective alternative solution. Central to the restorative justice method, students who have disciplinary problems learn about the impact their behavior has on others in an environment focused on healing and learning. School staff members, who have been trained in these methods, facilitate these programs through peer mediation, classroom circles to discuss problems, and family group counseling. More school districts, including six in Wisconsin, are now implementing these programs, encouraged by the successful results of schools like PEASE Academy. PEASE, a Minneapolis/St. Paul school for students recovering from chemical addiction, experienced a decrease in disciplinary issues since beginning these programs. Because restorative justice focuses on community involvement, students who have felt neglected or misunderstood are now learning that their community wants to understand their problems and help them improve their lives. Abstract courtesy of the Marquette University Law School-Restorative Justice Initiative http://law.marquette.edu/cgi-bin/site.pl?2130&pageID=1831
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