Fix School Discipline Toolkit for Educators - Page 45

HIGHLIGHT: REID HIGH SCHOOL AND CALIFORNIA CONFERENCE FOR EQUALITY AND JUSTICE Reid High School, a continuation high school located in Long Beach, CA, serves 297 students. About 74% of the students are Latino or Hispanic, 14% are African-American and about 10% are Filipino, American Indian, Pacific Islander, white, and multiracial What does RJ look like at Reid High School? these students and change their lives, if we don’t make the time. Restorative Justice Strategist/Coach Rob Howard: In my human relations class, I work with 11th Graders and 12th Graders who do not have enough credits for their grade level or to graduate from high school. There are also students who were sent here because they have behavior issues or have been involved in the juvenile justice system. Generally, this school has had a bad rap. According to other people, this is where “bad” kids go. Additionally, we are integrating RJ with the California Conference for Equality and Justice (CCEJ). CCEJ provides training and technical assistance with implementing human relations concepts into the curriculum to a variety of schools. In this class, we are learning about the systems of oppression that are in place in society and schools that funnel students into the school-to-jail track. In addition to participating in circle, students complete projects and assignments about social justice/antioppression elements and we display these around the room. I teach the human relations class here. Many of the students in my class were referred to this class for one reason or another. The students enrolled in this class vary and have been very traumatized by violence in their communities or homes and have been pushed out of their home schools. Usually, they don’t like school and have struggled in school. To add another wrench, because of where the school is located, there are a lot of issues with gangs, race, religion and homophobia. We are working on breaking down those lines and, literally, becoming friends. I am using elements in the restorative spectrum – such as active listening, affective questions and statements, and circles - to build relationships and community within Reid. That’s really what RJ is. It’s all the stuff that we should do, that it makes sense to do but we don’t do it because we are swamped and always say we don’t have the time. But, we can’t reach What changes have you seen at Reid as a result of RJ? Howard: The energy is different. Students are showing up and staying at school more. There are less physical conflicts on campus. We are able to intervene in conflict before having to suspend or involve the police. Reid High Graduate and Restorative Justice Youth Coordinator Alexis “Cherry” Cox: When I came to Reid, I was having a lot of problems. I was going through personal issues with my family and my school, and I failed my 10th grade year. I didn’t really know anyone here. Because of all the problems, I was having I was referred to the Building Bridges Camp that is run by CCEJ. There we learned about different 43