Check out Tommy’s story recently published on Restorative Justice for Oakland’s Youth’s (RJOY) work called “Discipline with Dignity: Oakland Classrooms Try Healing Instead of Punishment.”
“According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control, a student’s sense of belonging to a high school community is a top protective factor against violence and incarceration.”
The work of RJOY in schools has been so successful that Oakland School Board passed a resolution adopting Restorative Justice as a system-wide alternative to zero tolerance discipline.
Famed children’s/teen author Walter Dean Myers and his son, a children’s book author himself, Christopher Myers recently penned two articles in the New York Times, “Where Are the People of Color in Children’s Books?” and “The Apartheid of Children’s Literature” worth reading that describe why our young people of color in particularly need to see themselves reflected in what they read.
Here are a few noteworthy quotes to whet your appetite and chew on:
“As I discovered who I was, a black teenager in a white-dominated world, I saw that these characters, these lives, were not mine. I didn’t want to become the “black” representative, or some shining example of diversity. What I wanted, needed really, was to become an integral and valued part of the mosaic that I saw around me.” -Walter Dean Myers
“They are indeed searching for their place in the world, but they are also deciding where they want to go. They create, through the stories they’re given, an atlas of their world, of their relationships to others, of their possible destinations.” -Christopher Myers
Recently, there was an op-ed piece in the New York Times called “Real Discipline in School” highlighting restorative justice’s effects on school climate.
Check out these two videos to learn more about the community building circles and the story of how restorative justice transformed West Philadelphia High School.
And don’t forget to check out my two previous posts on restorative justice: “Restorative Justice: so harder and better than suspending and expelling” and “Restorative Justice:a new study provides data to backup what we already know”