Resortive Justice to Discipline Students

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Introduction For a long time it was thought that there is only one way to discipline students. But recently a new method has arisen and is becoming ever more popular. It is restorative justice. This method involves restorative practises that are meant to teach long term lessons while it’s opposite, zero-tolerance, is more of a short term solution. Zero-tolerance is punitive punishment for unruly behaviour that often consists of detention, suspension and expulsion. There are mixed views on which of these methods are better to use on students. This paper will analyse both methods and provide the public opinion as well as which method is better, based on the research. Zero-Tolerance Section Zero-tolerance is defined as the refusal to accept antisocial behaviour, typically by strict application of the law. The punishment for said behaviours is detention, suspension and expulsion. Zero-tolerance is meant to be used as a last resort by teachers and administrators but often ends up being used for minor offenses. Major offenses are: bringing a gun to school and assaulting a teacher or another student. Minor offenses include: being out of uniform, bringing a cell phone to class or using profanity or any kind of offensive language. It is often the case that those who are being persecuted fall under a certain demographic. These students are generally Latino or African American. According to an article by Graham in the “2008-09 school year, black students had 35 suspensions per 100 students; Latino students, 23 per 100; white students, 14 per 100; and Asian students, 5 per 100” (Graham). In “Proactive Discipline” the authors document that black male students are overrepresented in suspension and are punished for more subjective offenses, s... ... middle of paper ... ...tive justice they learn to think about how their behaviour is affecting the community. Restorative justice is still very new and requires more time to pass before its effect on students can be seen, be it good or bad. Works Cited Daniels, Peggy. Zero tolerance policies in schools. Detroit: Greenhaven P, 2009. Davis, Fania. "Discipline with Dignity: Oakland schools try talk circles." 5 March 2014. The Christian Science Monitor . Magazine Article . 5 March 2014. Graham, Kristen A. "Report says zero-tolerance discipline makes Philly schools less safe." Philadelphia Inquirer 14 January 2011: 3. Document . Sharkey, Jill D and Pamela A Fenning. "Rationale for Designing School Contexts in Support of Proactive Discipline." Journal of School Violence (2012): 95-104. Document. Skiba, Russell J. "The Failure of Zero Tolerance ." Reclaiming Journal (2012): 27-33. Document.

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