Fix School Discipline Toolkit for Educators - Page 40

back up in the morning. He then sent Elvin back to his classroom and escorted Arnold* back to his classroom, on the way back downstairs. Back in his office, Principal Jacobsen wrote both students’ names on a dry erase board labeled “Parking Lot” on the wall next to his door. He also telephoned the parents and caregivers of both students. He explained to each of them that there had been tensions between the 4th and 5th grade boys for a few days and that Arnold and Elvin were unable to make leeway during a restorative conference. After he ended the second parent phone call, Principal Jacobsen commented on that day’s progress, “Usually you don’t take an hour settling a conflict but sometimes, you must. Sometimes you also need the parents to come in because when they are involved, we have a better chance of long term 38 How we can fix school discipline success.” After helping students during dismissal, Principal Jacobsen headed up to the library for the Parent Empowerment class. Parents who attend the class are taught about RP principles and practices that they can use with their children. The class began with a circle in which the facilitator, Ms. Geiges, who is on a RP leadership team, explained that the class would begin and end with a circle. In the opening circle, Ms. Geiges described the talking piece, “The only person who has the right to speak is the one holding the talking piece; it allows us to slow down, think about what we are about to say and listen to the other people in the circle.” She then asked every person in the circle to explain their knowledge about and/or relationship with RP principles. One of the parents related the successful use of affective statements, the strategy that she had learned the prior week. Through an interpreter, she said, “I