When Restorative Justice in Schools Works

How Pittsfield, New Hampshire’s Schools Are Practicing Restorative Justice

JIM VAIKNORAS/Staff photo Danvers Football vs Tewksbury

JIM VAIKNORAS/The Hechinger Report                                                                                                           The Pittsfield Middle High School English teacher Jenny Wellington, bottom left, observes a practice session of the Restorative Justice Committee.

“People were afraid this was going to be a ‘hippy-dippy-granola-nobody’s-going-to-get-in-trouble’ concept.” With this leading line, Emily Richmond of The Atlantic, opens her report on Pittsfield, New Hampshire’s schools’ successful implementation of restorative practices.

Richmond goes on to explain: “In traditional school-discipline programs, students face an escalating scale of punishments for infractions that can ultimately lead to expulsion. But there is now strong research that shows pulling students out of class as punishment can hurt their long-term academic prospects. What’s more, data shows that punishments are often unequal. Nationally, more black students are suspended than white students, for example.

As a result, alternative programs like restorative justice are gaining popularity in public schools from Maine to Oregon. Early adopters of the practice report dramatic declines in school-discipline problems, as well as improved climates on campuses and even gains in student achievement.”

Read the entire article here: http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/12/when-restorative-justice-works/422088/?utm_source=SFTwitter