Behavior & Conflict Resolution

what is restorative justice?

Sandpiper School embraces the practices of Restorative Justice to cultivate a safe, healthy and inclusive school climate. Through ongoing professional development, teachers and administrators continuously practice and develop effective implementation of Restorative Practices. Practices that focus on repairing the harm caused by actions and words are implemented as a means to teach students desired behaviors while maintaining their status in the community. Community circles, restorative conversations and mindfulness are all implemented throughout the campus as we support students to positively contribute to school climate and culture. Restorative Justice maintains that those who have a stake in a specific offense must be involved in the resolution process to the extent possible. When guided by evidence-based practices, they can collectively identify and address harms, needs, and obligations in order to heal and make things as right as possible by resolving the conflict. Misconduct affects victims, but it also impacts communities as well as the offenders themselves.

When an offense has been committed...

Instead of asking these questions:

  • What rules were broken?
  • Who broke the rules?
  • How are we going to punish them?

We should be asking these questions:

  • Who was harmed?
  • How will the harm be repaired?
  • Who is responsible for repairing the harm?

Restorative Conversational Questions

To the wrongdoer:

  • What happened?
  • What were you thinking at the time?
  • What have you thought about since?
  • Who do you think as been affected by what you did?
  • In what way?
  • What do you need to do to make things right?
  • How can we make sure this doesn't happen again?
  • What can we do to help you?

To the person harmed:

  • What happened?
  • What did you think when it happened?
  • What have you thought about since?
  • How has it affected you?
  • What's been the hardest part for you?
  • What's needed to make things right?
  • How can we make sure this doesn't happen again?
  • What can we do to help you?

Restorative Justice practices are characterized by:

  1. Encounter: Creates opportunity for person harmed and the wrongdoer to meet to discuss the offense and its harm.
  2. Amends: Expects wrongdoer to take steps to repair the harm they have caused.
  3. Reintegration: Seeks to restore the person harmed as well as wrongdoer to whole, contributing members of society.
  4. Inclusion: Provides opportunities for all to collaborate in creating a resolution.

The Big 5 Restorative Justice Questions

To determine if a process, program or activity complies with the concept of restorative justice, we ask:

  1. Does it show equal concern for those affected, including the person harmed and the wrongdoer?
  2. Does it encourage the wrongdoer to feel accountable for his/her conduct and be willing to repair the harm caused in a way that helps the wrongdoer develop competency?
  3. Does it provide opportunities for dialogue, direct and/or indirect, between all of those affected, including the person harmed and wrongdoer?
  4. Does it encourage those involved to collaborate in restoring and developing positive relationships among those affected?
  5. Does it empower those affected to increase their capacity to recognize and respond to harm and offenses in a restorative way?