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During a judicial panel hearing where a student forged his name on some passes that staff hand out as good behavior incentives, a student jurist asked the teacher who brought the case if she felt betrayed. The student prosecutor explained, "He took her kindness for weakness." The students considered all the emotions at play. In another room, a team of girls reflected on the qualities of a leader and a follower during their circle. "Everyone says something negative about being a follower," one girl mused. "But I think it's good sometimes to be inspired by somebody."
The impetus for restorative practices in schools stems from a desire to right a wrong, but it also has the capacity, through its inclusive, democratic approach, to function as a social-emotional teaching tool where kids learn how to heal relationships.