Thanks for Mitzi Moore for passing on the article about a pilot restorative discipline program (the first in Texas!), now in its second year. The Ed White Middle School (just off Walzem Rd.) has had a 84% drop in off-campus suspensions since the program was implemented last year. Marilyn Armour, a professor at UT Austin’s School of Social Work and director of the Institute for Restorative Justice and Restorative Dialogue said:

The main goal is to create a different kind of school climate. When a student misbehaves, instead of saying ‘go to the office,’ it’s about stopping and engaging with that student in a meaningful way. It is time-consuming, but it’s about investing in the creation of a different kind of climate that pays dividends when times get tough.

All the sixth grade teachers received training over the summer. The district explained the process:

Restorative circles are one key method teachers are implementing at Ed White. Led by an adult facilitator, a restorative circle brings together the students in conflict in a setting that emphasizes mutual respect, deep listening and the search for a consensus-based solution. The solution agreed upon is then written in a binding document that all circle participants sign and promise to uphold.

You can read the entire article here. Wouldn’t it be GREAT to see more of this in San Antonio?

Share This