Purpose: The purpose of this qualitative case study was to identify strategies related to the successful implementation of restorative justice practices and to uncover the extent to which the strategies decreased off-campus suspension rates and office discipline referrals in five public schools in the San Bernardino City Unified School District.
Methodology: In this qualitative case study, 10 research participants who were involved in the first three years of implementation of restorative justice practices at their school sites were interviewed. Face-to-face interviews utilizing open-ended questions were used to answer the research questions.
Findings: The data identified four major findings related to the implementation of restorative justice practices: (1) 100% of research participants indicated that having restorative conversations with students was a vital strategy that greatly contributed to lowering office discipline referrals and off-campus suspensions; (2) 90% of research participants stated that having district-provided professional development and support was necessary for effective implementation of restorative practices; (3) when comparing the suspension data for the five schools and the district, 80% of schools had significant decreases in the total number of suspensions; and (4) 80% of research participants indicated that adequate time to prepare for and implement restorative justice practices was a significant factor to consider when looking at implementing restorative practices.
Conclusions: Implementation of restorative justice practices can take many different forms. The data presented in this research study agreed with information found in the literature regarding implementation of restorative practices. Having an established restorative justice team, providing training on restorative practices, and assigning someone to support implementation were key components of effective implementation.
Recommendations: While the study brought to the surface several findings consistent with current literature, other areas in need of further research were identified. First, this study could be replicated on high school campuses to see the impact restorative practices may have on lowering suspension rates. Second, research could be conducted on district-level restorative practices like Youth Court. Third, principals’ perceptions regarding the effectiveness of restorative practices could be studied.
|Commitee:||Perez, Lorraine, Vollkommer, Harold|
|School:||University of La Verne|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Organizational behavior|
|Keywords:||Pbis, Restorative justice|
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