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Journal of Pedagogy, Pluralism and Practice

Publication Date

Fall 2016

Abstract

Restorative justice in schools is becoming an essential set of practices and strategies taken on by schools and school districts to address the disproportionate academic and social-emotional outcomes among students within individual schools and across districts. Restorative justice in schools supports building healthy and supportive relationships among students and adults that serve as the bedrock of growth and development for students, their families and practitioners. While aiming to develop and restore positive and relationships among the most vulnerable and marginalized students (and their families), educators and schools bear the heaviest burden of re-visioning how these students gain access to rigorous academic content and experiences, as well as opportunities to develop behaviorally, socially and emotionally. While restorative justice in schools offers a sturdy foundation for teachers and school leaders from which to begin this complex endeavor, this paper argues that culturally responsive practice must be an essential part of restorative justice practice in schools. The paper also offers insights from my experiences as an educator and school leader in a Massachusetts Charter School that support this assertion.

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