|Published online: March 26, 2014||Free Download|
Police investigated a report of a planned act of school violence in a junior high school in Colorado; specifically, three students were planning “to do a Columbine”, bringing guns and bombs to school. Although the plot was interrupted when a student reported it to police (no one was physically hurt), the school community experienced harm to its climate, sense of safety, and reputation as a result of this incident and the ensuing publicity. This case study examines the actions taken to repair that harm, asks how these actions were restorative yet innovative in nature, and seeks to understand how restorative practices may be used in other school communities experiencing similar traumatic events. We will look at each step taken during the school's recovery and explore how those actions fit into a restorative paradigm. What is of particular interest is how these practices served to transform the school’s climate from one of fear and uncertainty to one of inclusion and security. Not only was the school restored to pre-harm condition, it was transformed into a better school for having undergone the trauma. Today, vestiges of that time continue to affect the school’s climate in positive ways.
|Keywords:||Restorative Justice, Transformative Justice, School Safety, Violence Prevention, School Resource Officer|
International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum, Volume 20, Issue 2, March 2014, pp.11-19. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 26, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 651.304KB)).
Police Officer, School Resource Officer, Patrol, Investigations, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Associate Dean, College of Education and Professional Studies, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, USA