Blocks Together chaired the High HOPES Implementation Committee that spent a year reviewing studies and collecting the insight of youth, parents, teachers and practitioners working on Restorative Justice in schools, to create this report, which shines a light on the ongoing crisis of suspensions, expulsions and school-based arrests and proposes a course for the full implementation of restorative justice in CPS.
Specifically our report finds that:
- Suspensions and expulsions do not make schools safer but instead negatively affect the school environment; have long-damaging effects on student behavior, learning and academic achievement; and contribute to higher dropout rates and violence.
- Restorative justice has been shown to make schools safer and help to lower suspension and expulsion rates.
- Integrating restorative justice practices is a critical way to improve the culture and climate of a school by supporting the social and emotional development of students and strengthening partnerships among all stakeholders.
In light of these realities, the High HOPES Coalition calls on CPS to reduce suspensions and expulsions by 40% through the implementation of restorative justice practices, as called for in the CPS Student Code of Conduct. This reduction and reprioritization would mean that hundreds of thousands of students would be disciplined more effectively, and a true cultural shift would begin to take place through the city’s schools. It is time for the written policy to become the standard practice in Chicago Public Schools.
Click Here for a copy of the report