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April 7, 2017
How one Memphis student is elevating the conversation about school discipline
A student-organized poster campaign serves as a catalyst for discussions about the climate of White Station High School and disparities in discipline.
a theory of justice
February 9, 2017
A Bronx school with a high suspension rate is trying restorative justice. It isn’t going as planned.
"We’ve worked to give fewer suspensions, which in some ways has been productive and in some ways has been very frustrating."
November 22, 2016
Federal officials want corporal punishment – rare but legal in Colorado schools – off the books
Colorado has no rules banning corporal punishment in schools. U.S. Secretary of Education John King wants to change that.
October 21, 2016
First Person: What the shift to restorative justice looked like in my KIPP school
When a student defaced our school with angry graffiti, we asked him direct questions in more than a dozen conferences. "Soft"? We ask to be judged by results.
July 27, 2016
Can ‘restorative justice’ happen in math class? One teacher’s idea
“It’s reminding them that everybody has a voice, it’s an inclusive community, and everybody’s thoughts are valid."
July 26, 2016
Yes, teachers do want safer schools, and ending suspensions is an important step
The lives of black youth matter, and we have to keep them in the classroom.
July 21, 2016
City will no longer suspend students in grades K-2, and releases a slew of new school crime data
Advocates largely praised the new policy, but stark racial disparities in school discipline persist.
May 11, 2016
Why should schools move away from suspensions? We asked student activists to weigh in
Over pizza one recent afternoon, a group of students from high schools that have adopted new discipline approaches explain what has changed.
April 21, 2016
De Blasio’s district-charter partnerships start with a focus on school discipline
The new partnerships — which the city expects to spend $18 million to support over the next four years — are one part of Mayor de Blasio’s “Equity and Excellence” plan.
April 20, 2016
As New York City’s suspension rate falls, some educators see a parallel dip in discipline
Some teachers say schools are not giving suspensions even when they're warranted, and their union says teachers need more training and support.
March 23, 2016
Effort to reduce suspensions triggers safety concerns in Indianapolis Public Schools
Eight months after Indianapolis Public Schools rolled out a new approach to discipline designed to reduce suspensions, expulsions and arrests, some teachers and community…
the first draft
January 21, 2016
De Blasio’s spending plan would hike budgets at more than 650 schools
His $82.1 billion city budget proposal, released Thursday, shows how the city plans to achieve the education goals de Blasio laid out last fall.
January 19, 2016
In Bronx survey, struggling students explain what’s missing from school discipline debates
A survey of nearly 400 Bronxites found that students who struggle academically or socially at school are also more likely to get into trouble.
By the numbers
October 30, 2015
School suspensions fall sharply, but continue to land most heavily on black students
Schools gave out about 9,000 fewer suspensions in 2014-15 than in the previous academic year.
April 21, 2015
What Eva Moskowitz gets wrong about restorative discipline
A teacher turned discipline researcher says that, contrary to what Moskowitz argues, “restorative schools” achieve joy, safety, and learning while suspending few students.
February 16, 2015
Talk it out: Restorative justice techniques help school communities rethink approaches to discipline
Schools such as Nashville's Pearl-Cohn High School are getting positive results from programs addressing disciplinary issues through approaches based on resolution and reconciliation rather than just detention and suspension.
June 25, 2014
As discipline code revisions delayed, advocates want some suspensions banned
Advocates want the revised code to ban suspensions for Infraction B21, or “defying or disobeying authority.”
a different approach
June 23, 2014
As city prepares to rethink school discipline, a look at restorative justice programs in action
What do restorative justice practices look like in action at Validus Preparatory Academy?
June 20, 2014
City preparing to expand restorative justice programs
The city is poised to dramatically expand restorative justice programs aimed at improving school climate and rethinking school discipline next year.
May 21, 2014
An overlooked part of fixing school discipline policies: reducing fear
A behavior coach and former Bronx school administrator argues that overhauling teachers understand misbehavior and interact with their toughest students is key to improving school discipline policies.
January 30, 2014
New program reduces disciplinary infractions, but racial disparity persists
Aurora Public Schools officials are celebrating its implementation of restorative justice. Since the district began using the program suspensions and expulsions have dropped by 2 percent a year. However, African American students are still being suspended and expelled at a higher rate.
April 16, 2013
Advocates ask candidates for school discipline climate change
At a rally Monday, junior Benia Darius said the next mayor needs to take a different approach to school discipline. After years of pressing Mayor Bloomberg to make school discipline fairer, students and advocates are turning their attention to the candidates seeking to replace him. At a rally outside City Hall just before a City Council hearing on school climate Monday, students and advocates from the Dignity in Schools Campaign called on the next mayor to take a different approach to school discipline. They want a model that relies less on suspensions and other punitive measures, and also ensures that black and Latino students are not disproportionately affected by school discipline. “We need a mayor that is going to implement and fund restorative justice in our schools,” said Benia Darius, a junior at Bushwick School for Social Justice. “I am soon going to start my training as a peer mediator, and I’m going to be part of the change in my school. But what I want to know today as a student is what you as mayoral candidates are going to do to change these issues in our schools?”
November 14, 2011
School aides union planning to sue to undo last month's layoffs
Santos Crespo, a local president for the DC-37 labor union, on the last day of work for nearly 700 school aides last month. The union that represents school aides is suing to roll back layoffs of nearly 650 members that took place last month. Lawyers for District Council 37, which includes school aides and parent coordinators, plan to file a lawsuit over the layoffs on Wednesday, according to a press release the union just sent out. The suit will argue that the Department of Education acted in bad faith during its negotiations with DC-37 over the jobs, declining to consider other ways to save money or considering whether the City Council and principals might pitch in with their funds. It will also argue that the DOE violated state law by conducting layoffs that disproportionately affected schools with many poor students. Principals chose to cut school aide positions over the summer as they hammered out slimmed-down budgets for this year, and the layoffs took place in October after charged negotiations between DC-37 and the city failed.
August 15, 2008
Restorative justice: An alternative method to make schools safer?
Yesterday's Student Safety Act rally brings to light the need to explore alternatives to policing for making schools safer. Few would dispute the need for school safety agents to handle the most serious incidents of violence, but what options exist for resolving the low-level incidents that characterize many school environments and make students feel unsafe on a day-to-day basis? Could school safety agents and others in schools play a different role in resolving conflicts? Finally, how can schools prevent problems and resolve underlying issues? This post takes a look at one possibility — expect more in coming weeks. What is restorative justice? An article about restorative justice in Rethinking Schools describes what happened when a student who broke a window at Humanities Prep in Manhattan went before the school's "Fairness Committee": During that session, the members of the committee found out that the day before he broke the window, his family received notice that they were being kicked out of their shelter and had no place to go. While this did not fully excuse his actions, we were able to discuss more fully and fairly what the consequences should be, as well as discuss more constructive ways to deal with anger. We jointly decided that he needed to give back to the school community in some way. Knowing that it would be ridiculous to ask a student who was homeless to pay for the window, we all agreed he would help answer the phone after school for a month. In the meantime, his advisor and the school social worker were able to reach out to his family and offer support. If the fairness committee had been a systematic, rigid mechanism, we would not have been able to brainstorm these solutions. "Restorative justice" refers to interventions like that conference that facilitate discussion among the offending student, those harmed by his or her actions, and others with significant relationships to either the victim or offender, such as family members. The process seeks to make the offender aware of the harm he or she has caused, take responsibility for it, and try to repair that harm to the extent possible by making reparation to the victim or community.
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