Personal Reflections

Restorative Opportunities after the Election

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By Nancy Reistenberg

Nov. 16, 2016

Howard Zehr reminds us to watch for both the intended and unintended consequences of our actions.  Some unintended consequences are harmful, and but sometimes they are positive.  I have been thinking about what could possibly be a positive outcome of the increase of reported bullying and racial, sexual, religious harassment in schools in the wake of the election.  Stories of both individuals and groups of students threatening, harassing and grabbing other students certainly challenge the schools who are charged with teaching all the nation’s children.

The good news is that there are stories all over the country, where educators—teachers, educational assistants, and whole buildings with the support of the administration—are responding proactively by changing routine, and giving both staff and students time to talk. Circle outlines have been developed so that adults, who may have many feelings themselves about current events, are able to remember to say, in the middle of their circle, ”My ears and my heart are open to whatever people would like to share.”  Feelings are never wrong.”

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Painful Events

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Painful Events

by Michael Gilbert, Executive Director

The week of July 4, 2016 was heart breakingOn Tuesday (July 5, 2016) Alton Sterling, a father of five, was killed by a police officer in Baton Rouge, LA in a confrontation over selling CD's outside a convenience store.  The next day (July 6, 2016) Philando Castile was shot and killed by an officer in Falcon Heights, MN (a suburb of Minneapolis) after a traffic stop for a broken tail light. They were loved and their lives mattered.

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The next National Conference on Community and Restorative Justice will be in Oakland, CA on June 16-18, 2017 with a pre-conference training session on June 15, 2017- SAVE THE DATES.

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