Restorative Justice is a philosophy and an approach to discipline that moves away from punishment toward restoring a sense of harmony and well-being for all those affected by a hurtful act. It provides families, schools, and communities a way to ensure accountability and focuses on reconnecting severed relationships and re-empowering individuals by holding them responsible.
This approach acknowledges that, when a person does harm, it affects the persons they hurt, the community, and themselves. When using restorative measures, an attempt is made to repair the harm caused by one person to another and to the community so that everyone is moved toward healing. Restorative Justice, and its associated Restorative Practices, is gaining local, statewide, and national momentum in criminal justice, K-12 school and community settings.
At John Muir, this means a focus on strengthening our classroom and school community at a grassroots level. Students and staff share a common language for talking about everyday conflicts that arise in a school setting and learn ways to address these issues as a team. We encourage the use of these restorative questions at home, as well.
Restorative Questions for those who have been harmed:
What did you think and feel when you realized what had happened?
How did this impact you and others?
What has been the hardest thing for you?
What needs to happen to make things right?
Questions to help Take Responsibility and Repair Harm for those who have harmed others:
What were you thinking and feeling at the time?
Who has been affected by what you have done? How?
What can you do to try to make things right?
http://hechingerreport.org/happens-instead-suspensions-kids-talk-mistakes/: This article shares how one high school is using Restorative Practices.
Our Restorative Justice work is being done with the support of ReSolve Center for Dispute Resolution and Restorative Justice. For more information, please visit their website: http://www.resolvecenter.org/