Post to Accompany the Podcast on Restorative Practices in Schools (guest blogpost: Bob Garrity)

Contact info:

Bob Garrity

Garrity Mediation & Consulting: practitioner and trainer
Adjunct Faculty Eastern Mennonite University: Restorative Justice in Education
Mediation, Facilitation, Partnering, Planning,
Restorative Practices, Bullying Prevention, & Training

A little about Restorative Practices:

            Restorative Practices in schools are a collection of knowledge, skills, and methods for building community in classrooms, building positive working relationships between and among teachers and students, and to restore relationships when they are affected by harm or conflict.

            A Texas study in 2012, the U.S. Secretary of Education and the U.S. Attorney General in 2014, and the Governor of Virginia’s Classroom not Courtrooms initiative conference in 2017 all spoke about the disparity/disproportionality of discipline in American schools.  African-American, Latino, and Special Education students are three times more likely to be suspended or expelled from school than their white counterparts.  The 2014 report and 2017 conference recommended bringing restorative practices (restorative justice in education) to schools in order to reduce the disparity/disproportionality of discipline.

The guiding principles of restorative justice in education are:

  • Everyone has Worth and Value
  • Everyone deserves and shows Respect
  • All humans have Dignity
  • People in a school share a Mutual Concern for each other
  • Staff Nurtures Healthy Relationships with students and each other
  • Staff creates a Just and Equitable learning environments
  • We all repair harm and transform conflict

Resources for Restorative Practices/Restorative Discipline/Restorative Justice in Education include:

Claassen, R. and Claassen, R. (2008). Discipline that restores: Strategies to create respect, cooperation, and responsibility in the classroom. South Caroline:  BookSurge Publishing.

Costello, B., Wachtel, J. & Wachtel, T. (2009). The restorative practices handbook for                teachers, disciplinarians and administrators.  Bethlehem, PA:  IIRP.

Hammond, Zaretta (2015). Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin

Smith, Dominique, et al (2015). Better than Carrots or Sticks: Restorative Practices      for Classroom Management. Alexandria, VA. ASCD.

Stutzman-Amstutz, L. & Mullet, J. H. (2005).  The little book of restorative discipline.    Intercourse, PA:  Good Books.

Tatum, Beverly Daniel (1997). Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the         Cafeteria? And other conversations about race.  NY, NY: Basic Books

Thorsbourne, M , Blood, P. (2013). Implementing Restorative Practices in Schools. London: Jessica King Publishers

Zehr, H. (2002).  The little book of restorative justice.  Intercourse, PA:  GoodBooks.

****Eastern Mennonite University Restorative Justice in Education Certificate for Masters students.  Harrisonburg, Virginia.*****

The White Paper we discussed can be found on the website for the Center for Safe Schools in Camp Hill, PA (Harrisburg, PA).  The link is:

To learn more about Safe Schools in Camp Hill, PA:

International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP).  Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.


Garrity Mediation & Consulting: Restorative Justice in Education