Restorative Justice: a new study provides data to back up what we know
With suspension and expulsion rates on the rise especially for young people of color in our schools, restorative justice is an approach our schools need to examine. As educators, we are looking for lasting solutions that will heal and teach our young people instead of punish and eject them out of our classrooms and schools. Check out these two videos:
1) First, from 2005 to 2009, the city of Oakland backed a restorative justice pilot project at Cole Middle School, in West Oakland, which was already slated to be shut down for low test scores. It was among the first attempts to implement restorative justice circles at a U.S. school.
By the final year, standardized test scores had risen by 74 points.
The school, which had suffered from a high turnover of teachers, retained all of its faculty.
And delinquency plummeted; suspensions fell 87 percent and expulsions dropped to zero. (taken from New American Media article)
2) Second, the Faifrax County Public Schools in Virginia, where I went to school, are expanding it to all middle and high schools in their county.