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Restorative Justice

Hello Westchester School Family,

 

I’m Vera Parker, the Restorative Justice Teacher Advisor working with the school staff, teachers, students and parents here at the Westchester Enriched Science Magnets.

 

Restorative Justice is a way of thinking and acting used to address the disproportionate number of suspensions of African-American males and Students with Special Needs. Since its inclusion as a component of the LAUSD Discipline Foundation Policy on February 14, 2014 (Bul-6231.0) the scope has broadened to include Hispanic males and African-American females.

 

The LAUSD Discipline Foundation Policy encompasses the beliefs of Restorative Justice: “All LAUSD students will attend schools with climates that focus on safety, teaching, learning and interpersonal relationships that enhance student learning and well-being.”

“Every student, preschooler through adult, has the right to be educated in a safe, respectful, and welcoming environment. Every educator has the right to teach in an atmosphere free from disruption and obstacles that impede learning.”

 

I am proud to share Westchester’s LAUSD district data which reveals that the number of suspensions declined from 82 suspensions (a 6% suspension rate) in 2012-2013; to 50 suspensions (a 3.8% suspension rate) in 2013-2014 and 13 suspensions; (a 1.1% suspension rate) in the 2014-2015 school year.

 

Let us continue to work together; implementing effective discipline practices that yield increased academic and behavioral outcomes for all members of our learning community.

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Restorative Justice Corner

What is Restorative Justice in Schools?

Restorative Justice is a “philosophy and approach to discipline that moves away from punishment...to ensure accountability and breaks the cycle of retribution and violence” ( Alfed, 2010).

The following Principles of Restorative Justice provide the foundation of what we are implementing here at Westchester High School:

1. Acknowledge that relationships are essential to building a successful school community.

2. Build systems that address student misconduct and harm in a way that strengthens relationships and focus on the harm done rather than focusing on the rule broken.

3. Utilize Restorative Practices School-wide to manage behavior such as Community Building Circles, Restorative Conferences, Restorative Language