Restorative Practices

What are Restorative Practices and what effect do they have?

2/26/20241 min read

Restorative practices aren’t exactly new. The concept is closely related to the idea of restorative justice used in prisons across the country for decades, but the origins actually come from Indigenous communities.

But what, exactly, are restorative practices? In short, it’s an alternative approach to the traditional and outdated classroom management and discipline models in schools. Instead of applying punitive measures (such as detentions, suspensions, etc.), the practices involve techniques that build community and teach students to take responsibility for their actions. These practices have become popular recently and have started to be implemented in districts across the country.

I’ll be honest, when I first learned about restorative practices, I was not a fan. Working in urban schools, I was used to punitive action. It was really the only way we knew, so we weren’t any wiser to the fact that it isn’t the best way to deal with student misbehavior. The district I’m in now has showed me the true power of restorative practices and I am a huge advocate for them.

Research has shown that suspension rates are lower in schools that use restorative practices compared to those that don’t. But there are a myriad of other benefits to using it, too. Students and staff report less bullying, there’s generally fewer discipline issues (particularly when it comes to the racial divide), and there may be a link to increased test scores.

Knowing the power of restorative practices (and using it every day at work), as a member of the Fenton School Board, I will advocate for an increase in the use of restorative practices, including the necessary training to make sure teachers are comfortable using them. I will also advocate for more opportunities to include restorative practices in everyday life for Fenton Students, such as a Peer Mediation class. I had the opportunity to be in one when I was in my senior year of high school and it left a big impression on me.


Jordan, P. (2023, April 21). Restorative Practices for School Discipline, Explained. FutureEd.,accept%20responsibility%20and%20rebuild%20relationships.