Restorative Justice (RJ) is an alternative avenue of disciplining students that seeks to educate instead of discipline. Restorative Justice at Kairos centers around resolving conflicts and restoring relationships, serving as a wrap-around service. As Ed Week (2016) explains, this powerful approach focuses on “repairing harm through inclusive processes that engage all stakeholders.” All parties are empowered to voice their opinions and share their perspectives when a situation arises peer to peer, peer to group, peer to staff, or peer to school.
In order for Restorative Justice to be successful, we must…
- Intentionally create a community that is anchored in shared values. Our values at Kairos include: Collegial, Inquisitive, Responsible, Intentional.
- Make participation in the community a requirement, not an option. We have everyone’s back, but in return, everyone must show up as a full participant.
- Model and teach community values. We leverage our House time to teach, role play, discuss, and practice.
- Enforce the values and be willing to hold students accountable. There must be real, felt consequences along with the opportunity to make amends and learn from mistakes.