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Restorative Justice

Restorative+Justice

Restorative Justice is a system of dealing with relationships, society, and community that’s grounded in multiple different indigenous practices. When someone does something that is harmful, Restorative Justice addresses situations in ways that the people can grow and have time to heal.  

 

Restorative Justice coaches the person who has done harm so that they have the ability and the autonomy to begin to make amends. Restorative Justice is still acknowledging harm and it’s still holding people accountable for the harm they have caused but it’s being done in a way that pulls people in instead of pushing people out. 

   

 Restorative Justice helps with making people feel included. It makes people feel like they have their own say and like they are engaged in the process. When we are talking about this program being at a school, it helps with keeping the kids in school. 

 

When a student is talking to an adult or a peer counselor it usually looks like starting with sharing what happened from all perspectives. So that the adult(s) or peer counselor(s) in that situation can see where the miscommunication happened. The facilitator asks questions so that the situation or disruption gets grounded; that way the situation or disruption is dealt with, and the proper help is given where it is needed.  

“Sometimes I feel crippling sadness… the hopelessness of hearing the needs that students have; and not looking at it as just their behavior but hearing students say, ‘this happened because this is happening in my life’. And when you get people back into a regulated space and you hear those things, it’s really hard [knowing] that most of our kids have difficult emotional situations. And that feels insurmountable because there’s so many needs that we can’t meet. But when you get to a place that you feel like you make a plan, it feels really positive when it’s 2 students that have had an issue can actually sift through the misunderstanding back to a place where they can both respect and feel that they can vibe again and that part feels really good and really hopeful.”  

-Laura Waltz

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About the Contributor
Lena Isherwood, Staff Writer
Lena Isherwood Lena Isherwood is 15 years old. Lena is a sophomore in high school. When Lena was in 3rd-5th grade, she joined a running program called Girls on the Run and chose to continue with track in 6th grade. Lena has always had an interest in the Asian culture. Lena also enjoys anything vintage or anything that feels vintage. For example, Lena prefers typewriters over computers. Lena loves to read and write books. Lena’s dream job is to be an author.

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