Justice Knox: Churches press officials on affordable housing, school suspensions

May 1, 2018. Knox News

In pressing public officials to take action on social problems in Knox County, Justice Knox doesn’t shy away from tension — it embraces it.

“Collectively, we raise our voice and call for our public officials to hear their constituents,” Justice Knox Co-president Rev. Meredith Loftis told the hundreds of people who packed into Central United Methodist Church on Monday evening.

“This will cause tension, but let’s be clear, it is tension borne of hearts that care.”

Can ‘restorative practices’ in schools get at the root of bad behavior? The idea is being tested

April 19, 2018. The Post and Courier.

The two boys were play-fighting, until suddenly they weren’t. The slap rang out at Northwoods Middle School.

Students at Northwoods are bound by the same rules and consequences as anyone else in the Charleston County School District. But thanks to a pilot program that started at their school and four others last year, the students also have a unique opportunity to face one another and make amends for their mistakes.

The pilot program is known as “restorative practices,” an approach to resolving conflicts that emphasizes personal responsibility and healing relationships. The approach was developed by Australian police to work with juvenile offenders in the 1990s, and it has since spread to schools worldwide.

City leaders commit to critical problem solutions

April 17, 2018. WHAS 11.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – It was a crowded auditorium Tuesday night, as hundreds from the organization, CLOUT, offered their solutions for some of Louisville Metro’s most critical problems: affordable housing, mental illness and school safety.

CLOUT, the Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together asked city leaders like JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio to commit to putting restorative practices in 10 more schools by the 2019-20 school year.

Congregations join Charleston County Schools to address behavior with ‘restorative practices’

March 23, 2018. The Post and Courier.

When LuAnn Rosenzweig’s son got in a fight 14 years ago at Wando High, the administration punished him with a three-day suspension.

What bothered Rosenzweig is that the school didn’t address the underlying conflict: Her son and the other students returned to school three days later and were expected to act as if nothing had happened.

Two Pinellas School Board members split on FAST questions

March 19, 2018. TBO.com

ST. PETERSBURG — A crowd of 3,000 peered down Monday evening on two Pinellas County School Board members faced with two questions regarding discipline and school data.

Will they advocate for a specific restorative practice program, different from the one the school district contracts now? And will they advocate for publishing quarterly reports detailing suspensions, arrests and reading scores broken down by school and race?

After two roundabout answers, a hand-drawn tally reflected the results: Two “yes” answers for Joanne Lentino; two “no” answers for Linda Lerner.