Restorative Justice in Education Grant
In support of P.L. 2019, c. 412, Kean University has been awarded the Restorative Justice (RJ) in Education grant to implement trauma-informed restorative justice practices in New Jersey K-12 public schools. This is a three-year pilot program that launched in Spring 2021.
According to data collected by the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE), New Jersey students lost 168,509 school days in the 2018-2019 school year due to out-of-school suspensions. The suspension rate for Black students was three times that of their white counterparts. Restorative justice has a foundation in racial and social justice, and aims to provide a more supportive and inclusive school culture through practices such as student or community court, restorative circles, conferencing and mediation.
Under the direction of Adara Goldberg, Ph.D., Director of the Holocaust Resource Center and Diversity Council on Global Education and Citizenship, the RJ team develops content and provides training and technical assistance to implement trauma-informed restorative justice practices in public schools. 14 school districts throughout the state participate in the three-year pilot program. The program fosters a restorative justice philosophy by providing schools with the resources, tools, and techniques needed to repair harm and restore relationships to build a stronger sense of community and student success within the classroom and community. This grant will increase the NJDOEs capacity to support the three-year pilot program and implementation of restorative practices beyond the pilot project.
Restorative Justice is a framework for community building and responding to challenging behaviors through meaningful dialogue. Implementing restorative practices shifts the conversation between teachers and students to be less punishment-oriented and offers an opportunity for all people affected by the action to have a dialogue about how to make things right and restore the classroom community.