Peace Rooms and Mindfulness: New School Discipline Philosophy One Year Later
School districts had a year to implement a state law that banned zero-tolerance policies and emphasized restorative justice practices. We check back in with five districts we visited in the summer of 2016 to see how school discipline has changed. On the second day of the school year, Amber Owens got the kind of jolt every parent dreads. She was called to the nurse’s office at Champaign’s Bottenfield Elementary, where she found her 7-year-old son, Simon, sobbing uncontrollably and bleeding from the mouth. He had been punched in the face during recess by another second-grade student. She got him calmed down enough to allow her to check his permanent teeth. They seemed a little wiggly, so Owens phoned her husband to come get Simon so he could be checked out by the dentist. As they waited, a school administrator stepped into the nurse’s office, bringing with her the boy who had punched Owens’ son. Face-to-face, the puncher apologized. Then the administrator asked the puncher: “How is Simonview more
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