I recently did some outreach on behalf of Youth Court, a program whose genesis was in part due to Yarmouth Schools and Yarmouth High School students three years ago. Yarmouth School Committee was the first school board in the state to approve an official policy that allows restorative practices to be used in school discipline situations in lieu of traditional detentions/suspension. This policy was enacted in December, 2012 after a year of policy creation work led by students, staff, and administration. Since that time, several other school districts in the state have used our policy as a guide in creating their own.
On June 9th, I gave one of the keynote TED Talks at the State Restorative Justice "Think Tank" Conference held at Bates College. I talked about my experiences in working with Youth Court as a school administrator.
The goal of the conference was to explore the growth, impact and sustainability of restorative justice practices in Maine and to engage participants in a variety of ways to learn about the philosophy, principles and practices of restorative justice. One of our soon-to-be seniors, Dylan Tureff, who serves on Youth Court, also attended and led a workshop in the afternoon. The conference was attended by over 150 law enforcement officers, judges/lawyers, educators, and policy makers.
I am very proud of our students for helping create and grow this program and bring positive attention to the work we do in Yarmouth Schools.
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