Letters to the Editor

Go ‘all in’ with restorative justice

This is in response to Taran Davis’s letter (Nov. 19) regarding student discipline: As an elementary school teacher, I struggle daily with unruly students. The lack of “real” consequences for highly disruptive, repetitive student behaviors puts other students and staff at risk. Quality instruction is impossible.

While I am in favor of rewards, incentives and student connections, without consequences for serious behaviors, students are running our classrooms and they know it. Bullying, name calling, inappropriate language, defiance and disrespect are escalating. We are empowering those with belligerent behavior.

Where are the rights of my students who want to learn? Where is my right and the students’ rights to a safe working and learning environment? The lack of counselors, social workers, campus security and other support staff outside the classroom negatively impact my ability to maintain a proper learning environment in the classroom.

The trend in schools right now is restorative justice. In order to be successful, all aspects of restorative justice must be implemented. First and foremost is respect and responsibility that is the foundation for relationship building and repairing. Staff needs to be trained. Support staff hired. By choosing not to implement consequences without the rest of the puzzle pieces is ineffective.

Donna Borec, Fresno

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