On Tuesday April 8th and Wednesday April 9th, 2014 the NYC Young Men’s Initiative (YMI) sponsored and hosted a panel discussion on the School to Prison Pipeline with a group of junior and senior high school students from the Expeditionary Learning School for Community Leaders (Leaders). The students, as well as school administrators, expressed an interest in developing a Restorative Justice approach in their school community and asked for YMI’s assistance in exploring both concepts and contours that contribute to the School to Prison Pipeline. The event featured in person discussions with policy makers, advocates and school personnel.
Updates and Results:
The high school students created a student driven plan for restorative justice and presented their findings at Brooklyn Borough Hall. Their new disciplinary approach aims to address each student’s social and emotional needs from case to case as well as help students become positive contributing members of a empathetic school community. During the 2013-2014 academic year, Leaders conducted thirty three mediations, eleven peer mediations, six restorative circles and over fifty conferences, regarding individual student behavior. These efforts resulted in 46 principal suspensions, a decrease from 54 during the previous school year. The school also had zero superintendent suspensions, a decrease from the ten superintendent suspensions the year before. Leaders was the first school in thirteen years to have zero superintendent suspensions within the old Lafayette High School.
A special thanks to Paul Forbes, Kim Sweet, Khary Lazarre-White, Bob Castello, Clinton Lacey, Elayna Konstan, Josh Laub, Lois Herrera, Prinicipal Taeko Onishi, Jenny Kronenfeld, Jose Dobles, Bob Costello, Dr. Timothy F. Lisante, Clarence G. Ellis and Jahmani Hylton.
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