Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Chicago fights school-to-prison pipeline through Restorative Justice Practices

Chicago fights school-to-prison pipeline
Ten years of grassroots organizing and practice have raised community awareness and helped demonstrate the effectiveness of restorative justice. Now Chicago schools are moving to create a restorative culture.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

In your school/community, who ensures/assures a safe school environment for students, teachers, and staff?

In the face of unacceptable, dangerous, threatening, violent behaviors, have the following been alerted:
-Law enforcement?
-All faculty/staff members? 
-Parents of students?  
-PTSA/PTSO officers and members? 
-School Superintendent & All School Board Members?
-County Commissioners?
-Mayor, city/town council members?
-Local legislators? 

Every student has the right to a safe school environment.
Every faculty/staff member has the right to a safe school environment.

Bullying of teachers more damaging in online era - Yahoo ...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Nov. 16-23: International Restorative Justice Week; 'Premier League villains' go straight after meeting victims

This Restorative Justice Week we're asking "What would you do?"


First published:

14 November 2014


This year, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is supporting International Restorative Justice Week (16 to 23 November) by running a public awareness raising campaign.

The campaign, which is being supported by the Restorative Justice Council, WhyMe? and the Chris Donovan Trust, is called “What would you do?”, encouraging people to think about whether they would meet somebody who committed a crime against them.


Restorative justice (RJ) is the process of bringing together victims of crime and their offenders to discuss the impact of the crime, repair the harm and find a positive way forward. It offers victims the chance to be heard, get answers to questions and provide a sense of closure. It also forces offenders to face up to the impact of their behavior and in this way can help to reduce reoffending.




'Premier League villains' go straight after meeting victims

First published Monday 17 November 2014 in Durham City News by Mark Tallentire, Reporter (Durham)

TWO “Premier League villains” have turned their lives around after coming face-to-face with their victims, a chief constable said today (Monday, November 17).

Durham Police chief constable Mike Barton said between them David Clark and Shaun Morton committed about 500 crimes a year.

But after taking part in a restorative justice scheme, both are now drink and drug free and volunteering with other addict criminals.

Sitting between Clark and Morton at a press conference at police headquarters, Mr Barton said they were among his force’s top ten criminals and called them “Premier League villains” but praised them for “turning their lives around”.

And the police chief revealed how he had taken restorative justice home with him, having Clark round for dinner.

“I can vouch for him when he says he’s drink free because when I served beef bourguignon, he wouldn’t eat it because it’s got red wine in,” he said.

Mr Barton was speaking at the start of the Ministry of Justice’s Restorative Justice Week.

Durham Police, working with others, invite criminals to meet their victims and discuss how they can put right their wrong.

Mr Barton said the scheme works because it taps into “the innate goodness in people”.

“People aren’t born bad. Nurture is far stronger than nature. Shaun and David didn’t want to be bad,” he said.

Mr Barton admitted crime was rising but said 90 per cent of victims of anti-social behaviour were happy with his force’s response and every one of 14 inspections this year has said “wow, something feels different here”.

The chief said restorative justice required courage from both offender and victim but could be used for any crime, including murder, death by dangerous driving and, with safeguards, domestic abuse.

He admitted it was more expensive than traditional methods but said it produced a “big payout” in reducing re-offending.

Mr Barton rejected suggestions it was a “soft option”, saying: “If people should go to prison, they should go to prison.

“Victims don’t want other people to be victims.”

Clark added: “I wasn’t getting anything out of it. I was already in prison.”

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has also backed Restorative Justice Week, saying putting victims first is a very important priority for her.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pittsburgh in groundbreaking project to make schools safer

Posted by on Oct 15, 2014 in Schools

Superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools welcomes families back to school.
Superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools, Dr. Linda S. Lane, welcomes families back to school.

One in five students was suspended from Pittsburgh Public Schools last year. One school suspended 79 percent of its students. What’s more, many students say they feel they have to fight to defend themselves in school.
To make their schools safer, the leadership of Pittsburgh Public Schools, like those in several other school districts across the country, is embarking on a watershed project to implement restorative practices — a proven alternative to ineffective and harmful zero tolerance policies.
The most extensive restorative practices school implementation project to date, “Pursuing Equitable Restorative Communities” will implement the practices in half of Pittsburgh’s 50 public schools, with approximately 10,000 students.
A $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice Comprehensive School Safety Initiative is supporting the initiative, with professional development provided by the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) Graduate School.
The district will implement the IIRP’s SaferSanerSchools™ Whole-School Change program in 25 schools during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years. The approach includes “informal and formal processes to address misconduct, not as a reactive response to crime and other wrongdoing but as a proactive process of building relationships and a sense of community.”
“We are extremely excited to enter into a partnership with the IIRP through a grant from the Department of Justice,” said Pittsburgh Public Schools Director Of Operations, Student Support Services, Eddie Wilson. “We hope to build positive culture and community in all our buildings. A positive teaching and learning environment is the foundation upon which all academic success it built.”
The RAND Corporation will evaluate the impact of restorative practices on school safety and climate in the 25 “treatment” schools and compare these findings with a control group of 25 schools that are not implementing the practices. This research has the potential to impact school districts nationwide.
Students walk to class at Pittsburgh Carmalt PreK-8, via Gates Foundation, Flickr Creative Commons
Students walk to class at Pittsburgh Carmalt PreK-8, via Gates Foundation, Flickr Creative Commons

More school districts are implementing restorative practices to create safe, positive learning communities, including San Francisco, New York City, Detroit, Baltimore and Philadelphia. Current research projects include a RAND study in 16 Maine schools, funded by the National Institutes of Health, on the effectiveness of restorative practices in influencing school environments and decreasing problem behaviors; and a Johns Hopkins/Diplomas Now study in 15 schools nationwide, funded by Atlantic Philanthropies, on the impact of restorative practices on reducing disparities in discipline and rates of suspensions, arrests and expulsions in high poverty-area middle and high schools with significant proportions of students of color.
The International Institute for Restorative Practices, an accredited graduate school based in Bethlehem, PA, works with schools and other organizations to implement restorative practices and offers a Master of Science, a Graduate Certificate and professional development, as well as books, videos and free online educational resources. With affiliate organizations in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Latin America, Singapore and Australia and licensees worldwide, the IIRP is part of a large worldwide movement of practitioners, policy-makers and scholars advancing the field of restorative practices.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Oct.: National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month: NC Center for Safer Schools

Go to the NC Center for Safer Schools’ website.  www.centerforsaferschools.org  and our Twitter account: @NCSaferSchools:  feature several items for Bullying Prevention month, including a link to Bullying Prevention Awareness packet, a brochure, the Governor’s Proclamation. 
Please comment on NCCSS' Twitter page: one of those messages is shared each day.

Bullying Prevention Materials/Resources 2014
Also: Peruse left page 1 of this Safer Schools blog