Restorative justice takes time
Re “Fresno teachers say restorative justice is creating danger” (Capitol & California, Dec. 13): The safety and discipline concerns that McLane High School teachers are dealing with seem more to do with lack of support and follow-through from administration than a result of failed restorative justice. Restorative justice in its essence is about holding people accountable for their behavior and exploring root causes of said behavior through the building of community. Through exploring, building, maintaining and restoring relationships on school campuses you create a climate where students feel safe, welcome and thus can thrive.
Building a restorative community is an evolutionary process that takes time and most of all accountability, and like any new practice it has to be developed and modeled by teachers/staff/administration. The data shows that restorative justice in schools leads to improved communication, relationships and reduction in suspensions while working to counteract the negative narratives of punitive discipline.
Carmen Perkins, Elk Grove
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