It’s Toolbox Tuesday!! How Do the Tools Align with Restorative Practices?

We highlight The Toolbox around here on Tuesdays. The Toolbox is a one day training program for campus administrators and special education staff addressing challenging behaviors presented by students with disabilities. Today, we have a few things to say about the interplay between the “tools” in The Toolbox and the “Restorative Practices” that many districts are adopting.

There is no conflict between the two. The tools in The Toolbox are based on the legal options that federal and state law make available. The use of Restorative Practices does not remove any of those tools. Districts that are moving toward a restorative approach still make use of short term suspensions, DAEP placements, etc. They use these tools less frequently. After all, that’s one of the main benefits of the Restorative approach. But these tools are all still available.

The Dawg is a strong proponent of Restorative Practices. We encourage schools to move away from exclusionary forms of discipline toward the inclusive, relationship-based model that is encouraged through student “circles,” “respect agreements” and other Restorative Practices. So we see no reason why schools cannot move toward Restorative Practices while also making sure that school officials understand their options as set out in The Toolbox.

If you are interested in a Toolbox Training, let me hear from you. I promise to make a pitch for Restorative Practices in your district at the same time.



Tomorrow: 9th Circuit revives the second part of the Tinker Test.