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The ‘Punishment Economy’ Must End

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By Zachery Norris of The Huffington Post During the past several weeks, protesters in Ferguson, New York City and across the country have shut down public transit, freeways, malls and many other institutions in response to the state-sanctioned violence that resulted in the deaths of Mike Brown,Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and countless others. Much of

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NPR: An Alternative To Suspension And Expulsion: ‘Circle Up!’

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Several big urban school districts including Chicago, Denver and Oakland are trying to fundamentally change how they discipline students. Restorative justice aims to reduce suspensions and expulsions and the racial disparity of those punishments – black male students are suspended at much higher rates than their white counterparts. NPR’s Eric Westervelt has this report from

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Restorative approach to truants shows promise when matched with family support

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By PreventionAction In compulsory education systems the law provides a final resort when children and young people fail to attend school regularly. But a response to chronic truancy based on restorative justice and tailored family support appears more constructive than seeking a court order. That is the conclusion suggested by a study in and around

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Restorative Justice offers Richmond High students alternatives to suspension

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By Hannah Lawson of Richmond Confidential Sofia Paredes, a senior at Richmond High School, has always been an outspoken student, but exercising her freedom of speech hasn’t always been received in the way she hoped. “I had trouble communicating and being patient with my teacher,” Paredes said. “Participating in RJ allowed the problem to be fixed

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Guest commentary: ‘Restorative Justice’ program has become a vital tool for public

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By Fania E. Davis, Oakland Tribune My Word © 2014 Bay Area News Group The third week of November was Restorative Justice Week. Oakland officially declared it in 2011, joining celebrations worldwide. We’ve seen amazing successes in the past years in advancing restorative justice approaches in schools and the juvenile justice system. Oakland has a

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Probation officer to add perspective as new Santa Ana Unified board member

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By Alejandra Molina / Staff Writer  of The Orange County Register Valerie Amezcua – a supervising probation officer and champion of restorative justice programs – is poised to become the newest member of a board overseeing one of the biggest school districts in the state. Amezcua was elected to the board of trustees for the

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Cold Anger in Restless Times: The Growing Movement for Racial and Social Justice

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By Peter Dreier of The Huffington Post A year ago and a half ago, I wrote an article for The Huffington Post that I called “Will the Killing of Trayvon Martin Catalyze a Movement Like Emmett Till Did?” I pointed out that Rosa Parks was thinking about Emmett Till — a 14-year-old African-American who was brutally murdered by

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Positive discipline gets boost in district plans

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By Jane Meredith Adams of EdSource With a big push from the state’s new approach to education spending, many California school districts appear to be ramping up investments in positive approaches to discipline. The majority of the 50 largest school districts have included programs in their July 1 budgets that emphasize connecting with troubled students or

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What Restorative Justice Is — and Isn’t

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By The Editors of Rethinking Schools Misbehave, get punished. That pretty much sums up the approach to “disciplining” students that educators through the decades have taken in schools and classrooms. The most extreme form of this law-and-order strategy is zero tolerance, described in Rethinking Schools by Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn back in 2000, as

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A South LA High School Takes A New Approach To Curbing Suspension Rates

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Sarah Zahedi | Staff Reporter of NeonTommy When high school sophomore Mykia Moore got into an argument with her best friend over a boy last year at Augustus Hawkins High School in South Los Angeles, the dispute quickly escalated into a physical fight. “She thought I wanted her boyfriend, because he texted me saying he

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