Recent Restorative Justice News Articles – October/Nov 2014

Dropout Nation – The Beltway’s Shameful Discipline

“Another step lies with states, along with the District of Columbia. Maryland took a strong step in January when its state board of education enacted regulations to end zero tolerance discipline actions and push districts towards restorative justice approaches that actually help students learn to behave better while keeping them in school. This is already achieving some result; Montgomery County’s suspension counts declined by 37 percent between 2013 and 2014, according to state data. [The District of Columbia’s charter school board has also worked to reduce overuse of harsh school discipline.]”

NPR – New Approaches To Discipline Strive To Keep Kids Out Of Jail

“Some schools around the country are trying new approaches to discipline designed to keep students within a school community rather than push them out.”

Elevation DC – DC teens show the world through their eyes–and their camera lenses

“[S]tudents have rallied to tackle the school-to-prison pipeline, a national trend where students’ petty transgressions that would once have led to a warning or detention now lead to long-term suspension or police enforcement.”

New York Times – De Blasio Plans Revised Code for Discipline in Schools

“The de Blasio administration plans to release a new school discipline code this fall, part of a larger initiative to examine school safety, discipline, suspensions and arrests. Politically, the stakes are high for Mr. de Blasio, who gained traction in the race for mayor agitating on issues of social justice and, as with his policing strategies, will have to balance the rights of students to be treated fairly with the need for schools to remain safe.”

Huffington Post – Restorative Discipline Should Be Common Practice to Lower Student and Teacher Dropout Rate

“If children cannot multiply fractions, we don’t expect them to figure it out for themselves or stick them in detention to learn how. Yet with behavior, we assume that punishment or the concomitant suffering will teach students what they don’t know. We somehow believe that students will correct their behavior after a one-time instruction rather than recognizing that, like everything else, learning has to be delivered many times using many methods for it to take hold.”

Wall Street Journal – For More Teens, Arrests by Police Replace School Discipline

“A generation ago, schoolchildren caught fighting in the corridors, sassing a teacher or skipping class might have ended up in detention. Today, there’s a good chance they will end up in police custody.”

The Washington Post – Family in Anne Arundel pastry gun case loses school board appeal

“Responding to the opinion, Ficker said that the school system “should know how to deal with 7-year-olds who don’t hurt anyone,” without removing them from school. “This is not a 17-year-old,” he said.”

New York Times – With Black Students, Some Schools Are More Ready to Punish Than Help

“In March, I read a report from the federal Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights about racial inequities in education. Its findings were discouraging, but in many ways they validated my own experience.”

Huffington Post – Implicit Bias and the School to Prison Pipeline

“The statistically significant racial disparities in school discipline are too large and longstanding to have occurred by chance. School officials are exercising their discretion and imposing disciplinary measures in ways that disadvantage African-American students and severely undermines their access to equal educational opportunities.”

The Oregonian – Oregon Department of Education fines Portland Public Schools for over-disciplining African American special education students

“The Oregon Department of Education has fined Portland Public Schools for disciplining African American special education students at a higher rate than other students. The punishment means the district must use $1.5 million, or 15 percent of its federal funding from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, between the 2014-15 school year and the 2015-16 school year to address the problem.”

National Journal – How We Are Successfully Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline in Denver

“As history has shown us time and again, it is only the organized strength of the people most affected that can change the balance of power and force officials to reconsider systems of inequity and dramatically shift the policies that create them.”

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