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Angie Sullivan teaches impoverished children in Las Vegas. She believes that restorative justice could help them, but only if it is funded.
How do you kill a bill without voting against it?
You take something important like restorative justice – which should be wraparound services and not give any funding. Wraparound services make a huge difference for students. This program is just buzzwords without the services and supplies. Restorative Justice requires money.
Folks need to talk about the wraparound services part of restorative justice.
364 campuses – one teacher to practice and train others = $29 million.
Double that for the basic need supplies you will need to stock up the pantries. Another $29 million
Many teachers keep snacks, bathroom supplies, deodorant, clothing etc in our classrooms for kids. This forces us to take from our own family money and time to address basic needs of students in our path. Nevada Legislators have zero problem demanding that of us and then everyone can complain because we did not give enough.
Nevada taxes folks to run Vegas schools – it taxes teachers everyday.
Restorative justice requires: – food pantry-clothing distribution – weekend supplies- community connections for housing, electricity, gas-help for the family -therapy- medical help (dental, vision, mental health, nutrition) – coordination with social workers, counselors, psychologists- whatever else a student needs help with to them feel safe and secure.
When you do not fund the wraparound services and just focus on expulsions – you make the problems worse.
Expulsions are the end result.
Restorative Justice is supposed to be about wraparound services.
Waving a wand and saying no one gets expulsed – will trap kids on campus.
Does trapping a violent kid on campus solve any of the issues that would have caused the expulsion?
Kids usually get expulsed for guns, knives, fighting and physical violence. If youth are at that point – a team of folks should be involved to try to actively prevent that behavior.
Violent youth or youth acting out in a manner to be expulse – are acting out with good reason. They are still young and could be helped. Trained professional help.
Maslow Hierarchy of needs – youth cannot learn if traumatized, angry, or mentally unwell. They need wraparound servives and professional help.
Teachers with 50 kids in a classroom cannot help the kid who needs an expulsion level of restorative justice. It is supposed to be a trained team with supplies and protocols everyone follows. Not a lonely overwhelmed inexperienced classroom teacher.
Forcing schools which are not equipped to support students to keep them on campus and possibly in the very situations that trigger them – is actually cruel.
The solution cannot be no expulsion and no services too. Just hang out and everyone will ignore the violent kid?
This bill requires a lot of money or it will allow cowardly politicians to:
-Say they did something when they did not do anything-Blame teachers for not caring about students when in reality we deal daily with too many things to name – Harm students and wonder why it did not work. – Complain loudly when disenfranchised communities still see their children headed from school to prison.
Restorative Justice is expensive because meeting youth needs is expensive.
Telling a mental health staff member who already has a caseload of 3,000 kids to train us all to be restorative will not lead to the results folks actually want.
I’ve had the CCSD restorative training. It did not help. It was a joke. The level of trauma some students are trying to process is difficult to describe.
We all know the kids in trauma. Staff do not want to teach kids who physcially attack them. Students do not want to be friends with violent peers. The acting out from trauma usually traumatizes others. If there is no help for that student, or teacher, it ends badly.
Staff will call the police and press charges. Or we will invoke contractual rights to not have to teach a violent student. The student will bounce from location to location ostracized. No one should be beat up physcially at their job (teaching or learning) even if the child is traumatized. Staff quit because they are told to endure physical violence from students. Until you have been punched in the face, kicked in the groin, and bit until you bleed and need stiches – it is difficult to describe.
Perhaps folks do not realize how violent and dangerous some CCSD elementary schools have become with large numbers of youth in trauma.
I assume middle schools and high schools are worse because the students are larger.
If you want restorative justice- send money.
If you do not send money – we will all sit through another useless professional development. We will use the buzzword restorative justice. We will not expulse kids – but they will not have what they need to overcome the issues. And kids will continue to be lost because we simply could not help. We wanted to – but did not have the resources we needed.