Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom School

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This Week at Fannie Lou (10/14 to 10/18) -- Monday (10/14): School Closed;  Tuesday (10/15): Girls Volleyball (H); Wednesday (1016): SAT in School for 12th Graders; Friday (10/18): Girls Volleyball.
About Us » Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice

At Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School, our way of addressing problems, disciplinary issues, and violations of our community norms is to talk it out. We use Restorative Justice Practices (RJ) to develop our community and to manage conflict by repairing harm and restoring relationships. RJ is not a replacement for suspensions but does aim to decrease suspension rates and lower incidents of harm/conflict. With RJ, our goal is to create a healthy, equitable, caring school community by preventing and addressing behavioral disruption in a non-punitive way that supports accountability and enables healing.

 

Building Community

 

The first tier of RJ practices focus on community building:

     Community Building Circles - facilitated by a staff member, student, or peer mediator, these Circles are designed to build and strengthen relationships and connections within the school community. They often occur in Advisories and/or academic classes.

      Restorative Conversations - informal conversations, usually between a staff member and student(s).

 

Harm & Healing

 

When a conflict or issue arises, the second tier of RJ practices is aimed to prevent escalation, address the harm, and support healing. When a community member is not acting with respect, empathy, justice, integrity, and/or commitment, that person may be harming not only themselves but also our school and/or classroom communities. Through RJ, it is expected that someone who harms the community or another community member will do their best to repair that harm restoratively. Actions to repair the harm may include but are not limited to: Mediations, Conferences, and Circles; Public apologies; Community service; or Participation in projects/programs aimed at preventing and/or increasing knowledge about the issue.

 

Before officially “repairing the harm,” Tier 2 RJ interventions often first involve:

Restorative Conversations - informal conversations, usually between a staff member and student(s).

Restorative Conferences/Mediations - formal meetings between students (and sometimes staff) to prevent or address an issue. Mediations sometimes include parents/family members and are facilitated by an RJ staff member or peer mediator who will help the disputants determine what needs to happen to repair harm and provide opportunity for healing.

Restorative Circles - formal Circles of support and accountability. They may occur to support one person, a group, or to support long-term change.

 

When a conflict/incident is serious enough to merit a suspension, the third tier of RJ practices involves students’ re-integration into the school community upon their return. This includes:

Restorative Conferences/Mediations - formal meetings between students (and sometimes staff) to address the issue. Mediations involving suspensions often include parents/family members and are facilitated by an RJ staff member who will help the disputants determine what needs to happen to repair harm and provide an opportunity for healing. When possible, these mediations are scheduled to happen during the suspension so that the issue can be resolved before the student returns to school again.

Re-Entry/Re-Integration Circles - formal Circles of support and accountability when a student is returning from suspension and/or long-term absence. These Circles aim to help students re-integrate in a way that fosters support and success.