How Schools Can Heal After Hate Speech

Restorative justice (RJ) has a lot of potential to help the school community heal after incidents of hate speech.

RJ is commonly accepted as a theory of justice that can strengthen the community by fostering communication and empathy. If practiced with care and sensitivity, restorative justice can bring the community to a greater sense of closure that would typical retributive practices. For example, in a process called Peacebuilding Circles, aggressors are able to understand how they hurt others, take responsibility for their actions and make amends—rather than simply facing punishment. Victims receive a full hearing of how they’ve been impacted and a chance to determine what they need to restore their sense of community, safety, and belonging. RJ processes can be opened up to the school community to include those affected by the issues and can help collectively envision needed changes in the school environment. GreaterGood.

To learn more about how your community perceives your school environment, follow this link for our nationally-recognized comprehensive school climate survey. With the school climate survey, you can take the first step in identifying student, staff, and parent perceptions to make informed decisions about how to strengthen your school community.

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