Monday, January 4, 2016

Weekly Question!

According to Howard Zehr, "Restorative justice is a process to involve, to the extent possible, those who have a stake in the specific offense, and to collectively identify and address harms, needs, and obligations, in order to heal and put things as right as possible." Does restorative justice have a place in special education: re bullying, student discipline, remedies. etc? What do you think?


  1. Restorative Justice when applied with fidelity has the ability to increase students' abilities to take another's perspective, identify cause and effect, and build empathy. I have seen it work successfully with children with many types of specific learning abilities, provided the children participating have adequate communication abilities. I have not seen it applied with children who are non-verbal or who have moderate to severe autism. When working with children with moderate to severe emotional challenges, it is recommended that they children receive specific and additional coaching in the areas of cause and effect and perspective taking. Children with EBD also respond more effectively in a RJ circle when those in the circle include someone the student has a trusting relationship with.the research I have done shows that RJ builds resiliency. It is much more effective than SWPBIS.

  2. I agree with your insights, Melissa, as well as appreciate your sharing.

    In my situation, I wish Restorative Justice was a required first step of every school's special education dispute resolution process.

    Connecticut is one of the 10 states responsible for 2/3 of special education lawsuits. Those education budget millions should be going to kids and teachers - not certain adults who fearfully and ridiculously hide behind attorneys while keeping BOEs ignorant.

    I've asked for it, but it will never happen.

    Then again, I love a "challenge."

    1. I'm hoping my profile is now visible rather than 'unknown.'

  3. Thanks Melissa & Jill.

    I appreciate your comments.

    Jill I'm not sure how Blogger classifies people as anon or not!

    Jim Gerl