Connections Quarterly Winter 2019 - Restorative Practices - Page 13

R ES TORATI V E S C HO O L D I S C I PL I N E • The basic skills of restorative justice taught to teachers by outside consul- tants fade over time. • The nuances of restorative interaction (e.g., languaging, attachment style re- sponse, trauma-responsive) are not devel- oped, maintained, refined, or advanced. • There is no core group charged with en- suring timely, consistent, organized, and effective restorative resolutions to con- flict, incidents, or patterns of misconduct. “ Most schools only see the restorative approach as a discipline response for students. When this hap- pens they miss out on the benefits of resolving con- flict and long-standing issues between adults... ” One of the main reasons why restorative justice has been so successful in the courts is because of programs. Programs receive cases, document, coordinate, adminis- ter, monitor, and facilitate restorative en- counters between offenders, victims, and others impacted by a violation. A school- based program can provide the same—a highly organized system of processing and tracking incidents, paying particular atten- tion to an individual student’s social-emo- tional development. When this happens they miss out on the benefits of resolving conflict and long- standing issues between adults (faculty and parents) in a restorative way. Staff (and boards) don’t develop restorative communication habits between them- selves or with parents. Parents and stu- dents see and sense this inconsistency. It’s often the case that tensions among staff impact the school’s professional culture and climate. Challenge #4: It’s not just about the students. In order for a school to become culturally re- storative, disagreements between adults as well as challenging behavior with students need to be embraced as opportunities to more deeply connect. It’s about the adults developing the discipline of engagement and connection with each other in the ser- vice of community well-being. This simple, “We couldn’t see how these methods could become ways of responding not only to incongruent behavior in stu- dents, but the conflict happening be- tween our adults.” 4 Most schools only see the restorative ap- proach as a discipline response for students. Continues on page 36 4. White (2017). CSEE Connections Winter 2019 Page 11