I Don't Care
How does restorative justice make an impact on students? It makes a greater impact on students because the process is ran by students. When youth gets in trouble by teachers they don’t care I know I sure didn’t. Restorative Justice also known as peer court is there to allow students a second chance, the school administrators don’t give students consequences that will allow them to reflect on the harm they’ve caused. Although some situations do deserve suspension the students learn absolutely NOTHING! They look at suspension as a joke and even a vacation, they don’t care because they’re so blind by the consequence all it does is angers them. That’s where PEER COURT comes in, hence the word peer, being surrounded by people that are your age or around your age makes such a greater impact, it makes you realize how you should be acting and it motivates you to do better.
We give alternative consequences such as jury duty which is taking part into what we did for them, they’ll do for another student, we also offer tutoring, leadership classes, community service, verbal or written apology, it all depends on the harm they caused. Our goal is just to let students know that they CAN repair the harm they’ve caused and they have us (their peers) to encourage and support them, it also allows them to think before they act. “… An alternative known as restorative which seeks to resolve conflicts through talking circles and other methods to build trust.” Circles are for situations with behavioral issues, we’re there to support the students and let them know that it’s possible to change, we share our own experience and try to make them feel more comfortable. The students almost always have issues in their classrooms with being disruptive and creating a hostile environment, that’s where I come in because my freshman year I had a similar issue with two of my teachers so I share my experience and how I behaved, I didn’t care nor realize how I was affecting others around me, I make it clear to them that it does affect them and their peers and that they need to realize they’re here because their teachers see potential in them changing.
After listening to how they felt during and after the situation we all give him/her a few suggestions that we think they’ll be able to abide by and they choose around 3 on their own then they sign off of whatever they chose. What does peer court feel like? Being in the hot seat? They all mostly come in with negative mindsets. Being in our court with a bunch of students… I’ll tell you, the students will stutter, shake and sometimes even cry, being in front of your peers is such a worse feeling then being in front of teachers , of course all adults follow the rules, know how to behave blah, blah, blah, its expected and they’re obviously going to defend reasons why we should behave and respect their colleagues but when your peers are telling you why it’s important to behave and respect adults it really sticks to you because there’s really no age gap, they sit in classes too they have teachers they need to respect and classes they need to behave in.