I would like to share with you some ideas and thoughts we are using at school when responding to conflict at school.  The San Francisco Unified School Districthas adopted Restorative Practices and Rooftop has begun its training in thisarea.  We would like to share with the community what we learn as we learnit.

Restorative Practices will promote and strengthen school culture and enhance pro-social relationships within the school community.

What is Restorative Practices?

It involves the building of a positive relationships and establishing a supportive environment that is fair,consistent, and democratic.  It involves interventions when harm has happened, as well as practices that help to prevent harm and conflict by creating a senseof belonging, safety, and social responsibility within the school community.  The underlying principle is that relationships are important, and when an incident occurs,the focus is on the harm caused to the relationship and the subsequent repairing of that harm; rather than; what rule has been broken and therefore whatconsequences will be imposed.

A restorative approach to conflict and wrongdoing consistsin asking key questions:

  1. What happened, and what were you thinking at the time?
  2. What have you thought about since?
  3. Who has been affected by what happened and how?
  4. What about this has been the hardest for you?
  5. What needs to be done to make it right?

A Restorative Approach…

  • Encourages students to understand the impact of and appreciate the consequences of theiractions.
  • Provides an opportunity for those harmed by another’s actions to share their personal experience
  • Requires students to be accountable for their actions.
  • Encourages respect for all concerned and develops empathy for others.
  • Views conflicts as opportunities to learn through problem solving.

Diana Marshall