Black and Hispanic students continue to be excluded from the learning environmentmore than three times the rate of their White classmates. The effects of this include low student achievement, reduced chances of graduating from high school, and an increased chance of entering the school-to-prison pipeline. Restorative justice was introduced to schools and school systems as an alternative to suspension and other exclusionary practices.
The purpose of this study was to examine how school personnel implement and sustain restorative justice practices to reduce the number of Black and Hispanic students disproportionately affected by zero tolerance policies or exclusionary practices. The overarching research question of this study was the following: How do school personnel describe and understand the implementation of restorative justice practices? To address my research question, I conducted a single case study of a school in a large Atlantic coast school system. Data collection methods included: semi-structured interviews of school personnel and leadership, observations, and document review.
Four major findings emerged from this study: (1) Cultural understanding, understanding implicit bias, and student-school personnel relationships create the conditions to reduce schoolwide disciplinary infractions and improve climate and culture; (2) School leadership intentional about supporting the mindset shift of staff from punitive to restorative contributes to the development of a positive learning community and supports the implementation of restorative justice and its associated practices; (3) Sustainability of restorative justice depends on the following levers: consistency of restorative justice practices, staff support, and onboarding of new staff members; (4) Professional development, specifically professional development at the school and district level, served as the vehicle to build the capacity of staff as it relates to restorative justice theory, mindset and cultural proficiency (cultural understandings).
|Advisor:||Howard, Lionel C.|
|Commitee:||Trimmer, Leslie, DeMatthews, David|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|Department:||Educational Leadership & Administration|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/5(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Multicultural Education, Education Policy|
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