The screeching sound of anger barreled from the back of the room. All of the sudden, a red plastic chair crashed down as a body leapt to exit out the room.

Following, a crunch through the door knocked through the other side to reveal wood particle shards.  Hence, a large hand throbbed after the punch split through to the other side.

The office summoned

During the escort out the room, the student hollered threats of violence. Rage roared from deep inside his body. Barreling down the hall as it rumbled in the distance. Its power never diminished.

Down but not out, he fought his captivity. Squirming away, he broke free. Pinballing down the hall as he ran to avoid obstacles and knocked everything in his path down.

Hurried clicks of the heels of an administrator clomped down the hall. As she enters, she promises of pizza and movies with her.  All of a sudden, he quieted his voice of anger and calmed his body.

An Afternoon Delight

The next day, he returned to math class. Yesterday erased as evidenced by the board nailed over the gash in the door. No apology necessary.  In other words, he was given a clean slate with no consequences.

The student tapped on his desk. No fear of consequences. Back at it again.

As his hands clapped, his mouth whistled. And then, his feet stomped.

Lips licked as the thought of food danced delight in his head.

Today’s escort out the door brought an army of three. More clicks and clops ran in his direction.

The Savior

A negotiation of short work time in exchange for candy presented him with options. Disliking any work, he agreed to work for 5 minutes.

She triumphed.

Bragging after school, she boasted that SHE got HIM to work. Leaving out the details of where and how long.

Yet, everyone knew.

Despite teacher complaints, the pattern remained and multiplied to others. Several students rewarded for outbursts throughout the year.

However, times changed in the late summer. A year older, many students focused on larger schools with more sport options.

Outgrew the small start-up charter. Transfers granted.

A whole new world

Yet, in this world, school disruptions levied consequences.

One student fought his new principal.

The other student fought the police.

Both students birthed from the same middle school. Yet, no tools given to help the students in criss or replacement behaviors advised as an alternative. Therefore, the conflicts resolved were not truly resolved.

Reinforcing dangerous behavior injures the ones who need guidance and structure. Without engagement in problem-solving, nothing is solved.

Guide schools and restore safety

The National Association of Community and Restorative Justice provides a policy statement for restorative practices. In essence, fostering a healthy and healing environment creates opportunities for all students to be successful.

For more information on the policy statement and resources, click this link:

In summary, restorative practices provides us with hope for healing.  Read more about hope here: