Fix School Discipline Toolkit for Educators - Page 8

THE GOOD NEWS: THERE ARE EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVES THAT KEEP SCHOOLS SAFE WHILE HOLDING STUDENTS ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR BEHAVIOR There are proven alternatives that can help students behave appropriately and hold them accountable for their actions while supporting their full development and making schools better places for all students to learn. There is also a practical reason to adopt a research-based alternative: alternatives can increase school funding because they result in higher student attendance and lower suspension rates. It is important to note that many schools that are successfully reducing suspensions and improving school climate use a multifaceted approach by layering more than one approach. For examples, see the SWPBIS factsheet and highlights on Pioneer High, Vallejo City Unified and Leataata Floyd Elementary later in this toolkit. Here is an overview of a few school-wide solutions that are being implemented successfully in California and nationwide. growth. 2 Restorative Practices, which build Do to... Do with... Punitive Restorative upon Restorative Justice and apply it in the school context, Not do... Do for... are used to Neglectful Permissive build a sense of school LOW -- SUPPORT (ENCOURAGEMENT, NATURE)–HIGH community and resolve conflict by repairing harm and restoring positive relationships through the use of regular “restorative circles” where students and educators work together to set academic goals, develop core values for the classroom community and resolve conflicts. -- CONTROL (LIMIT-SETTING, DISCIPLINE)–HIGH Every young person has the right to a high quality education and to learn in a safe, respectful school environment that protects human dignity. Research shows that punitive, zero-tolerance approaches to discipline do not prevent or reduce misbehavior or even make schools safer. To the contrary, they have significant negative impacts on learning and can make schools less safe and effective. Proof Restorative Justice works to hold students accountable and keep them in school  A UC Berkeley study of a Restorative Justice program at Cole Middle School in Oakland showed an 89% drop in suspensions from 2006-2007.3 Restorative Justice is an approach originally used in the justice system that emphasizes:  At Richmond High School in West Contra Costa Unified School District, as reported by New American Media, a 2011 Restorative School Discipline Program had cut the school’s nearly 500 suspensions by January 2011 in half by January 2012.4 In 2013-14, the school had 167 suspensions. (1) repairing harm, (2) bringing together all affected to collaboratively figure out how to repair harm, and (3) giving equal attention to community safety, victims’ needs, and offender accountability and  West Philadelphia High School was on the state’s “Persistently Dangerous Schools” list for six years. After one year of implementing Restorative Justice, the climate improved dramatically: suspensions 1 Some experts believe that there is a difference between Restorative Justice (RJ) and Restorative Practices (RP); they perceive RJ to be a restorative model for juvenile or criminal justice settings and RP to be a restorative model for school settings. Throughout this toolkit, the authors interchangeably use Restorative Practices and Restorative Justice, to refer to restorative discipline strategies used in schools. 3 San Francisco Unified School District’s Restorative Practices training;Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice, University of California Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall) (2010), School-based Restorative Justice as an Alternative to Zero-Tolerance Policies: Lessons from West Oakland. 4 Lumpkins, D. & Marshall, M. (02/28/2012), Suspensions at Richmond High Plummet, New America Media available at http://newamericamedia. org/2012/02/suspensions-at-richmond-high-plummet.php. Restorative Justice or Restorative Practices1 6 How we can fix school discipline