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Where Dignity is Part of the School Day: Restorative Discipline in Oakland Public Schools

Jelena Woehr

"As Tommy held the talking piece, he told his story. On the day of the incident, he had not slept, and he was hungry and scared. He felt the teacher was nagging him. He’d lost it. Tommy apologized. He passed the talking piece to his teacher and heard her story."

Restorative discipline aims to heal the damage caused by student misbehavior, without stripping a student of his dignity or stigmatizing him for life by suspension or expulsion. In Oakland, it's working.

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