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Restorative Practices: A Roadmap to Equity in School Discipline Practices

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Sandy Vaughn

on 31 January 2018

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Transcript of Restorative Practices: A Roadmap to Equity in School Discipline Practices

Zero-Tolerance Policies in Schools
Ronald Reagan's War on Drugs (1980's):
Harsh sentencing laws in society - mirrored in schools
Mandate predetermined suspension/expulsion for a wide degree of rule violations (or risk federal funding)
Drug, weapons, violence, AOD-related
Others: disruption, truancy, disrespect, noncompliance
Intended goal to protect all students' safety and maintain a school environment conducive to learning
Restorative Practices:
A Roadmap to Equity in School Discipline Practices

Sandy Vaughn LCSW, PPSC
Heather Graham, MSW, PPSC
Robert Watts, MSW, PPSC

From indigenous cultures
One of the top interventions recommended by the US Department of Education, US Department of Justice, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, among others to address the negative effects of law enforcement, zero tolerance, and exclusionary discipline (Other recs include SEL, PBIS, RTI ideally imbedded in good RP programming.)
RJ In OUSD (7:41)
To lower rates of suspension and expulsion and to foster positive school climates with the goal of eliminating racially disproportionate discipline practices and the resulting push-out of students into the prison pipeline.
disproportionately affect children of color, students with disabilities, and LGBTQ students
increasing rate of suspensions and expulsions when school violence stable or declining
ineffective in changing behavior (high rate of repeat suspensions)
linked with lower academic achievement, dropping out, & involvement with criminal justice system or SCHOOL-TO-PRISON PIPELINE

What rules or laws were broken?
Who broke them?
What do they deserve?

What do we know?
(The world Cafe Community Foundation)
"People already have within them the wisdom and creativity to confront even the most difficult challenges. The answers we need are available to us; we are wiser together than we are alone."
1. In what ways might students from diverse cultures find RJ meaningful?
2. What values prevalent in schools today do RJ values conflict with ?
3. Retributive environments (in-school suspension rooms, jail cells, detention centers, etc.) often have a criminal look and feel to them. Describe this look and what does it communicate?
4. What would the look and feel of truly restorative environment be and what would this convey to diverse cultures?
5. How does RJP in schools address both privilege and oppression?
Cultural Considerations
- Break into groups to discuss, then share out -
Outline of presentation:
I. Foundational principals of RP
II. History & relevant research
a. exclusionary "zero tolerance" discipline practices
b. school to prison pipeline
III. Restorative Justice as anecdote
a. RTI to frame RP practices (Tiers 1-3)
c. Examples from the field
d. Delve deeper into 2 conflict resolution tools

(Community Coalition, 2013)
Punitive policies and approaches of the modern criminal justice system that have made their way into our schools
serve to remove children from mainstream educational environments and funnel them into a one-way path toward prison
Fed by historical inequities:
segregated education
concentrated poverty
, and
racial disparities in law enforcement practices
"The School-to-Prison Pipeline:
One of the Most Urgent Challenges in Education Today"
NAACP Legal Defense Fund (2013)
Some Problems......
Restorative Practices in Schools
Disproportionality in discipline - documented for 40 years:
Students with SPED 2x more likely to be suspended
Intersection of race/SPED - nationally 25% of AA SPED suspended out-of-school in previous year
Black males consistently the most at-risk for exclusionary discipline (followed by AA females, Latino males)
(Advancement Project, 2013)
RJ's Ultimate Goal in Schools

What is the harm caused and to whom? ?
What are the needs & obligations that have arisin?
Who has the obligation to address the needs, repair the harm, and restore the relationships?
RP's Response to Wrongdoing:
1. Meet 1:1 with party #1 to explain process, determine willingness, prep with questions, let them know you will share answers with party #2
2. Meet 1:1 with party #2 to explain process, determine willingness, prep, share summary of #1's responses
3. Briefly meet again with party #1 to share summary of #2's responses, resolve any major discrepancies, get agreement on central issue, responsibility, & potential resolution
4. Conduct circle with same questions, answers
Harm Circle Steps

If other forms of discipline have been tried and proven not to work (remember equity, as it's time consuming!)
After intro to process and prep (series of questions) you determine both sides are willing to give it a try and have accepted appropriate degree of responsibility;
Don’t use when offender or victim are either unwilling or unable to accept responsibility or when there is a safety concern

When to propose a Harm Circle?

Let's try it!
RJ in NHUSD 2014-15
RP Evolution in California
In 2013 LAUSD became first district in country to ban suspension for "willful defiance" (> 40% of California student suspensions 2011-12 school year)
SFUSD followed suit in 2014
OUSD & SFUSD Boards have adopted RJ resolutions
California AB 1729 (2013) requires alternative strategies before suspension for non-violent infractions (RJ is included as alternative strategy)
AB 420 passed (2014) - eliminates willful defiance K-3 or for expulsion
Prep sheets (elementary, middle, & high):
Problem with Zero-Tolerance Policies?
Circle Guidelines:
Traditional System:
Restorative Justice:
Community Building
"Building and Sustaining a Classroom Community" - Mill to the Music
RP is about EQUITY!
What is it; Why important or not?

As a result of this training you will be able to:
1. Identify 2-3 foundational principles of RP in schools
2. Understand what is meant by " school-to prison pipeline"
3. Articulate 1 RP intervention from each of the 3 tiers of intervention
4. Become familiar with restorative conversations & harm circles
People are happier, more cooperative, and more likely to make positive changes when those in authority do things WITH them rather than TO or FOR them
Building relationships and community are the foundation
Emphasize the need to restore relationships when harm has occurred over and above the need to assign blame and punish.
RP Foundational Principles:
** pair share **
* harm circles
* restorative convo's
Restorative practices used to help resolve conflicts as well as respond to challenging behavior
Take incidents that might otherwise result in punishment and create opportunities for students to:
1. Become aware of the impact of their behavior (empathy)
2. Take responsibility for their actions
3. Take steps toward making things right
Restorative Conversations & Harm Circles (handouts)
Restorative Conversations Video & discussion
Tier 1 &2 - KIT teacher cohort
Tier 3 -LOG harm cicles
(separate file)
Thanks for coming!
Exclusionary discipline strongly associated with negative academic outcomes, including truancy, disengagement, failure, dropout:
Large TX study- being suspended > 1x in 9th = 20% increase in dropping out of school
Suspension - risk factor for justice system (JJC)
National study > 1/3rd males suspended >10 days had been confined in correctional facility
discretionary suspensions tripled students involvement in JJC subsequent year
What more do we know?
Schools have the power to change it!
School perspectives, practices - when factored in, reduced influence of race to non-significant
Three most important components:
1. Restorative practices & relationship building
2. Structural interventions:
a. PBIS,
b. preventative/systematic protocols for threat and risk of threat response
c. changing discipline codes
3. Social-emotional learning (universal & targeted)
Tier 1 -HVC
(and again, from the research)
from the research...
Thanks for coming!
Restorative Conversations Video (print to use)
Take 1: What worked and didn't (:26-:50)
worked -
Not - no empathy step, no student/principal concerns, no collab attempt for solutions)
Take 2 (2:34-3:08)
worked - heard 3 steps
Not - concerns of both weren't clear, need much clearer sense. Came to dead end. "vague concerns = vague solutions"
Take 3 (4:29-6:48)
worked - great empathy step, grand handle of both concerns
not - didn't solve collaboratively! Need to continue into invitation
Take 4 (7:55-9:28)
worked - that was invitation! Wondering what's going to happen vs. deciding
Academic Systems
Behaviroal Systems
Classroom management tools:
When good harm circles go bad (tips):
What stands out to you?
Full transcript