Effects Of Restorative Justice

1673 Words 7 Pages
Restorative Justice has been proven to have positive effects in a classroom setting, in approaches to conflict resolution as well as in personal growth for people of all ages, however the Provincial Ministry of Education has not effectively incorporated restorative justice to play a lead role in its approach to conflict resolution. Through an exploration of the current justice system used by most schools in the Ontario Public School system, and analysis of examples that show restorative justice is successful in learning environments, as well as opportunities for restorative justice to be incorporated into the Ontario School System, it is evident that the Provincial Ministry of Education should be making more of an effort to incorporate restorative …show more content…
These punishments however, do not allow for the offender to truly take accountability as they do not hear or understand the hurt they have caused. In many conflict resolution practices, the principal delegates a punishment and leaves the student being punished separate from the victim. With limited understanding, there cannot be an empathetic or restorative response. Restorative justice allows for an equal voice for everyone involved, including the community and the offence, breaking down this limitation and allowing for understanding, empathy, healing and a true restorative process. Empathy is another quality that restorative justice and the Ontario School System embrace. Empathy is defined as “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” (Oxford Dictionary, 2016). Students that experience empathy are also able to communicate and connect with one another. When students are able to make those connections through the healing …show more content…
The Ontario Public School System has had boards such as the Waterloo District School Board implement restorative justice programs, due to the finances and resources that are available to them and despite the Provincial Ministry of Education’s push of punishment based resolution tactics. Now in their fifth year of incorporating restorative practices, Lynn Zammit, co-ordinator of its restorative justice project reports that although the hard data is not available yet, suspensions are down as a result of the restorative process. , where students acknowledge the harm they have cause and share ideas on how to repair it (McCulloh, 2010). The Waterloo District School board also utilizes the opportunity to hold conferences with students, teachers, parents and anyone involved the situation that is being addressed. Using peer mediation, and healing circles as well, the methods are successfully used to address a wide range of issues including bullying and harassment, vandalism, swearing at teachers, fighting, assault, theft and weapon offences. These practices are used successfully in place of, or alongside suspension. (McCulloh, 2010). A district with many catholic schools, the restorative

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