As part of Dayton Public Schools’ ongoing commitment to achieving supportive school environments, the district instituted a Restorative Justice program, beginning in the 2012-13 school year. This program is a part of the district’s overall Positive School Climate initiative.
Restorative Justice is a system of school-based, non-punitive interventions, in which students are brought together with staff to discuss differences and conflicts, often in a group setting. The program reinforces positive behavior, conflict resolution and reconciliation, while teaching students responsibility, respect, and appropriate behavior in school and society. Students are given the opportunity to take ownership for their behavior, right the wrong, and move on from there.
The program was expanded to serve eight schools in the 2014-15 school year, and will be adopted districtwide by 2017, pending funding.
Comments about DPS Restorative Justice:
“Restorative Justice helped me by teaching me how to cope with anger and how to deal with people.”
“If you come in here angry or upset, they give you time to calm down and they help you.”
“We talk about if we have any feelings about someone else, we can fix it right now.”
“Just that addition of being able to sit down with kids and have one-on-one conversations, or them to have the opportunity to feel more confident in the classroom, sharing feelings, is a positive impact for our kids.”
“I’ve seen a change in teachers’ philosophies in dealing with students, and my (own philosophies), as a building leader. Our suspension rate has been dramatically reduced this year.”
“There has been a significant decrease in suspension and discipline referrals.”