Restorative Justice: Oakland's school discipline program
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Mercedes Morgan, a senior at Ralph J. Bunche Academy, an Oakland, Calif., alternative school for students with disciplinary records, listens in as the school’s restorative justice coordinator, Eric Butler (r.), talks by phone with her mother.
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California’s Oakland Unified School District educators take part in restorative justice training. A federal review of possible civil rights violations in discipline resulted in the district’s landmark effort to reduce suspensions.
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Tiago Robinson greets students in the Oakland High School hall before his manhood-development class, which stresses firm handshakes and eye contact .
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Oakland (Calif.) School Police Officer H. Matthews urges eighth-graders late to class to enter campus.
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Betsye Steele, principal of Ralph J. Bunche Academy, speaks to students at the alternative school’s restorative justice appreciation lunch.
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Indicating he’s done answering a question, Oakland High School student Jesse Baldain III passes a ball to the instructor in his manhood-development class.
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Armed Oakland School Police Officer H. Matthews (l.) watches Oakland High School students leaving campus at the end of a school day.
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Oakland is one of the nation’s most violent cities, and the school district’s disciplinary reforms aim to get high school students, like these walking along a painted school wall, out of the school-to-prison pipeline.