(06.06.2017): Could this technique stop the school-to-prison pipeline?

Members of the Alamance-Burlington Board of Education want problem students to talk it out.

Board member Pam Thompson invited Jon Powell, director of the Restorative Justice Clinic at Campbell University, to give a two-hour presentation on restorative justice practices at the Monday’s school board work session. Restorative Justice aims to stop the school-to-prison pipeline by focusing on rehabilitating offenders through mediation instead of allowing students to go through the court system, which board member Patsy Simpson has seen a lot of lately.

“What I see now is, [while in] the old days when principals handled things and it didn’t include law enforcement, now the easy way out is to make that referral,” Simpson said. “I believe that in Alamance County, this is just my personal opinion, we’ve gotten into this mindset that, ‘You broke the law, therefore let them handle it,’ and it puts a lot on law enforcement and takes the focus away from the fact that these are children and we’re damaging children for the rest of [their] lives.”

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