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Commentary: Restorative justice is just a slogan at LAUSD

LA School Report | November 10, 2015



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By Sandy Banks

Restorative justice is a wonderful concept; a way to make student discipline less punitive and more productive. But in Los Angeles Unified, it’s little more than a slogan, generally misunderstood and rarely applied.

The district did a lot of chest thumping two years ago, when it became the first in the nation to ban suspensions for classroom misbehavior. But as a Times story revealed this week, alternatives have been slow to materialize — and both teachers and students are paying the price.

The number of suspensions has plunged, but classes seem more unruly, teachers feel under siege and teachers and administrators are calling in school police more often to handle disruptive students. That’s the opposite of what the ban was supposed to accomplish.

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