Teachers who use restorative disciplinary practices see a dramatic improvement in classroom behaviour. They have better relationships with their students and therefore less stress due to unresolved conflicts. "The restorative discipline has improved my relationships with students," says Claassen. "Instead of complicating relationships, it brought us closer together and improved our interactions." Level II comes into play when students break the rules and someone has hurt someone else. In traditional justice, sentences are then handed down. Restorative justice is more about mediation. The insulting student has the opportunity to come forward and do things right by meeting with the people involved and a mediator, usually a teacher. Restorative justice is a theory of justice that focuses on mediation and agreement, not punishment. Offenders must take responsibility for the damages and benefit from the victims. The concept has existed for hundreds of years, indigenous peoples, like the Maori, have for generations succeeded in using restorative justice in their communities.
By the end of the 20th century, restorative justice had gained strength in the United States and other countries as a result of several groups` attempts to improve the effectiveness of the criminal justice system. Level III is intended to assist children who have not been to school for a period of time due to suspension, expulsion, imprisonment or status quo. Returning to school life can be a real challenge in these cases, and many students in traditional environments insult themselves or drop out quickly. Restorative judicial practices aim to reduce recidivism by providing a wraparound supportive environment from the moment a student returns to school. It pays tribute to the student`s challenges, while promoting accountability and performance. Statistics show that the use of restorative practices keeps children in school. Prison systems often remove students from the classroom, even for minor offences. With restorative justice, everyone works together to keep children in the classroom where they can learn. Children who are expelled from school often end up in what education reform activists call the "school-prison pipeline." Restorative justice wants to stop this cycle and keep children on the right track with their education. The program is based on respect, responsibility, relationship building and relationship repair. Schools such as the OUSD use a three-step approach. Level I focuses on building a strong community within the school and lays the foundation for responsibility and respect.
Level II attempts to resolve conflicts and curing the damage caused by students, while Level III helps students who return to the school community after suspension or expulsion. It also offers individual support. While there is no major underlying problem, it is more constructive to deal with disciplinary issues. "The restoration process teaches students how to positively resolve conflicts," says Claassen. "It helps them develop rational skills - understand a situation, follow and solve a process. These are life skills that they can take away from the world. In addition, equity in schools requires a commitment of time and money from the county and its administration.