The Little Book of Restorative Discipline in the Schools
by Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz and Judy H. Mullet
Can an overworked teacher possibly turn an unruly incident with students into an “opportunity for learning, growth, and community-building”? If restorative justice has been able to salvage lives within the world of criminal behavior, why shouldn’t its principles be applied in school classrooms and cafeterias? And if our children learn restorative practices early and daily, won’t we be building a healthier, more just society?
Two educators answer yes, yes, and yes in this new addition to The Little Books of Justice and Peacebuilding series. They urge a focus on consequences rather than punishment. They insist that relationships -- far more than rules -- are central to building community, and that community fosters caring and belonging. They put up with no hypocrisy: teachers and administrators must live restorative practices, too. So how does it all work?
Stutzman and Amstutz offer applications and models. Among them are class meetings for 5th graders; reintegration of 7th- and 8th- graders who were suspended; circle processes, which offer space for all voices to be heard, and also quiet tensions that are building; and community conferencing when trouble shapes up between students and neighbors.
“Discipline that restores is a process to make things as right as possible.” This Little Book shows how to get there.