On Thursday March 29th at 5 PM, students and staff of Beach and Reid high schools will come together to talk to the press about the power of Restorative Justice and how it has transformed their lives and school communities. This event will take place at Reid High School located at 2153 W. Hill Street in Long Beach.
The recent enthusiasm for and support of Restorative Justice is in response to the overuse of zero-tolerance and punitive discipline policies, and how such policies disproportionately affect African American and Latino students. Schools that have implemented Restorative Justice use the practice of “sitting in circle” as a school wide approach to build community on campuses and as an alternative to suspensions and expulsions.
Locally, Reid Continuation High School and Beach High School have chosen to invest in Restorative Justice practices. Both schools provide education for youth who were pushed out of the traditional comprehensive high schools and/or who are behind in their credits. Reid High School is in its second year of Restorative Justice implementation in collaboration with a local human relations organization, The California Conference for Equality and Justice. Rob Howard, the Restorative Justice coordinator at Reid says, “when students and staff feel connected to each other through Restorative Justice, they form a strong sense of community, which in turn prevents violence and conflict because these individuals actually care about each other.”