A news story out of Colorado caught my eye recently, because it had to do with a school that is replacing traditional suspensions with meaningful conversations. They call it restorative justice. It sounds pretty choice theory to me.
At Hinkley High School in Aurora, Colo., students, parents and administration are meeting face-to-face to resolve student conflict with conversation. The number of physical altercations has taken a nosedive as this new type of disciplinary action, called “restorative justice,” replaces suspension. Hari Sreenivasan has the story.
Wow! Has anyone read “Life-Enriching Education” by Marshall Rosenburg? He writes about policies just like this with his premise of non-violent communication. I am SO pleased that public school is moving in this direction. I am frustrated that we have ignored EGW’s advice in “Education” to be focused on restoration of relationship. Now will we get on board, now that public schools are moving in this direction? Don’t get me wrong, I am SO happy that we are moving this way. I just wish Adventist education was LEADING the way in Choice Theory, student-directed learning, and restorative relationships – we’ve had the “blueprint” for a long time.
I am with you.
It is especially interesting that a school in Colorado, where zero tolerance really took over after Columbine, would be transitioning to the restorative justice approach. I think there are schools around the country that are quietly using the principles of choice theory, even while not being aware of choice theory. There are many educators on the trail of wanting to find what works. There are certain life principles, and I think they are God principles, that work when we tap into them. I believe Glasser tapped into these life principles. I think others continue to tap into these principles. These principles are humane, compassionate, empowering, and even firm. Regardless of who taps into them, when they tap into them, or where they tap into them, the principles will work 100% of the time.
SDA schools could be doing more than they are regarding the principles. But some SDA schools have found them or are searching for them. We’ll just keep trying to get the word out.