Restoring Community

From Minnesota Department of Education describes how principals use restorative discipline practices | Twin Cities Daily Planet comes this rather striking statement about a survey conducted in the state:

"The survey was completed by 417 Minnesota principals, of whom 66 percent reported using restorative methods in response to some behavior problems."

And then there this quote by Nancy Riestenberg:

“Students have to be held accountable for making mistakes,” Riestenberg said. “If you don’t give them the opportunity to wipe up their own milk that they spilled, you’re robbing them of the responsibility to learn that they can make a mistake, and they can fix it.”
She said suspensions can actually increase incidences of bullying. They can lead to lowered academic achievement and decreased attendance. “The suspensions ended up making them feel so disconnected they didn’t want to come anymore,” she said.

Reducing suspensions could increase school budgets. The survey profiled a school in Oakland, California that went from losing $9,775 in attendance funding a year, to losing only $262 a year after implementing suspension-reducing restorative practices.

Read the full story by Alleen Brown for the Twin City Daily Herald here.