Restorative Discipline and Practices
What is Restorative Justice?
Restorative justice maintains that those who have a stake in a specific offense must be involved to the extent possible. When guided by evidence-based practices, they can collectively identify and address harms, needs, and obligations in order to heal and put things as right as possible.
We use a restorative justice approach to discipline which has proven to be very successful in schools nationwide. Restorative justice discipline focuses on accountability for one's action by using empathy and compassion to fix harm that is caused by an offense. Through reflection, a student thinks through their actions and explores their own feelings when committing the offense. Once they are able to understand how their emotions affect their judgement they are then able to come up with positive alternatives to their behavior when placed in a similar situation in the future. The most powerful piece of this practice is then having the student explore ways in which they harmed others by their offense. Once they are able to recognize how their behavior affected others, they are encouraged to come up with ways to mend the harm they caused in order to right their wrongs and redeem themselves. By handling discipline in this way, students become an active participant in resolving their own conflicts.