Restorative Justice at TCHS

Restorative Justice is a alternative to using punishment to manage misbehavior. Punishment-based approaches are the tradition most of us are familiar with, because they are the basis of our criminal justice system, guided by the idea that punishment, if fair and proportionate, is the best response to crime. In practice this means identifying, prosecuting, and punishing the offender. Often this is done at great cost to society, with little healing for victims and communities and outright harmful effect on offenders an their families.

School discipline has for the most part taken its cue from the criminal justice system. The focus is on punishing wrongdoers with the aim of enforcing behaviors that are safe an non-disruptive. When punishment does not work, misbehaving students may be excluded through suspension or expulsion, opportunity for social and emotional learning.

Restorative practices in schools are based on restorative justice principles instead of punishment. They aim first to build classroom communities that are supported by clear agreements, authentic communication, and specific tools to bring issues and conflicts forward in a helpful way. They provide specific pathways to repair harms by bringing together those who are affected by misbehavior in a dialogue to address concerns, achieve understanding, an come to agreement about setting things right. contribute to social and emotional learning

As schools adopt and gain experience with restorative practices several shifts in perspective take place. These shifts don't typically happen all at once. 
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