The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has adopted Restorative Justice as the district’s discipline policy. This program focuses on community building, repairing harm, and reintegrating students who have been suspended, truant, or expelled.
Restorative Justice was developed years ago and, as the name implies, was originally developed to help incarcerated people make amends for their misdeeds.
Although the intent of Restorative Justice has many good qualities, the program is a process—considering that LAUSD has planned to implement the program over a three-year period.
I should make my position clear regarding my association with the Los Angeles district. To begin, I have great admiration for large urban school districts. I consulted with the New York Board of Education working with … >>> READ MORE >>> →
A recent headline in the Los Angeles Times proclaimed, “L.A. Unified school police to stop citing students for minor offenses.”
The article cites the example of Michael Davis who experienced firsthand the effects of coercive discipline when he received a police citation for tardiness in middle school and later was removed from class for failing to wear the school uniform in a South Los Angeles high school.
This is a typical example of the punishment culture prevalent in too many schools—especially urban middle and high schools.
The change away from punitive law enforcement actions reflects growing research that handling minor offenses with police actions does not necessarily make campuses safer—but instead often pushes struggling students to drop out and … >>> READ MORE >>> →
The Los Angeles Times reported on June 1, 2014 that the Los Angeles Unified School District’s disciplinary suspensions have been reduced.
The article reported about schools where administrators typically handled discipline problems by suspending students. However, several parents complained that their children were sent home without officially being suspended.
Several parents at one of the schools said their children were unfairly removed from school and “off the books.” A confidential report by community organizations found that some principles were using “workaround” to district mandates to reduce suspensions.
Similar charges have been made elsewhere in the district. One school principal was removed following allegations that he sent home at least 20 students while directing the staff not to mark them absent … >>> READ MORE >>> →