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Changing How our Student and System Views Discipline


Questions the Current Discipline System Asks
  1. What rules or laws were broken?
  2. Who broke them?
  3. What do they deserve?
Question that Restorative Justice System Asks
  1. What is the harm caused and to whom?
  2. What are the needs and obligations that have arisen?
  3. Who has the obligation to address the needs, to repair the harms, to restore relationships?
Restorative Justice Principles
  1. Voluntary participation
  2. Respect for everyone involved
  3. Inclusion of all the people impacted
  4. A focus on the harms, needs, and causes that have arisen
  5. Consensus-based decision-making focused on how to repair the harm and prevent future harm
  6. Opportunity for dialogue that aligns with the above principles
  7. Expanding the capacity of the community to create a just and fair response


What are activities that are centered around Restorative Justice?
  1. Relational Practices: working to understand how individuals in the classroom or school community relate to one another.
  2. Circles: coming together to facilitate student and teacher connectivity.
  3. Routines: creating classroom values, such as Classroom Constitutions, adhering to them, discussing them, questioning them.
What is Restorative Response to Intense Intervention?
  • Focus is on relationships—not just those that have been damaged but among everyone involved in the incident and in the response.
  • Space is allowed for the people and relationships harmed as well as those who harmed to vent and express feelings. Sometimes a waiting period is necessary before students can engage in a restorative process in a meaningful way.
When an apology is given or requested, the person making the apology:
  • Identifies the behavior for which they are apologizing.
  • Identifies why it was wrong and how it affected others.
  • Asks the persons harmed how the harm can be repaired and offers ways to repair it.
  • Makes a commitment to change the behavior so that it does not happen again.
To ensure that agreements that come out of restorative processes are upheld, make them SMART.
  • Specific: what, where, when, and how
  • Measurable: everyone should know when complete
  • Attainable: all items are realistic and possible
  • Relevant to the harm and/or root causes
  • Time-bound: a date when each item will be completed