Rising Acceptance of Restorative Justice Training in New Mexico Schools

The New Mexico schools have a rising acceptance of a new way of handling discipline through restorative justice training.

Introduction to Restorative Justice Training in New Mexico’s Education Department

The teachers and school counselors were learning about a new way of handling problem called “restorative justice.” Instead of just punishing students who do something wrong, this approach focuses on fixing relationships and making things right. The education department in New Mexico is trying out this approach in a few schools to see how it works.

According to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, restorative justice is a way of handling wrongdoing that focuses on different ideas and methods compared to traditional approaches. Davison states that indigenous communities have been using these concepts for a very long time. They were introduced into mainstream US systems to address and fix harm in the criminal justice system. The main idea of restorative justice training in the criminal justice context is to give special attention to the victims and try to meet their needs in practical and meaningful ways.

Read also: Sammy Sasso Ohio State Wrestler Was Shot Last Friday During A Robbery

Introduction to Restorative Justice Training – Photo by: (Edsource)

Advantages of Restorative Justice Training Over Suspension and Expulsion

Advocates believe that using restorative justice training is a better way to deal with misbehavior than kicking kids out of school for a long time. This is because being suspended or expelled for a long time can lead to fewer students finishing school and a higher chance of getting into trouble with the law.

This is especially relevant for Indigenous students. In New Mexico, students who are Native American get removed from school much more often than any other group. A study conducted by New Mexico In depth and ProPublica revealed that they are expelled at a minimum of four times rate of white students.

Principal Pandora Mike, who shares a Navajo background with a significant portion of the school’s staff and almost all of its 414 students, commented that “I was raised in circles like this, it’s a traditional practice”. She also explained that “Restorative Justice is about self-regulation, responsible decision making. You really want to help students do a lot of reflection on their own behaviors, their own actions.”

Read also: Hemet Police Officer Charged In On-Duty Assault, Causing Severe Brain Injury

Leave a Comment