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Implementing Restorative Justice as a Step Toward Racial Equity in School Discipline


by Katherine Cumings Mansfield, Stacey Rainbolt & Elizabeth Fowler — 2018

The purpose of this multimedia research is to provide a blueprint for change that is centered on an alternative disciplinary approach referred to as restorative justice or restorative practices. First, we provide a short overview of the problem of racially based discipline practices in American schools. Then, we share the philosophical underpinnings of restorative justice, describe key components essential to its implementation, and provide links to videos that illustrate the successful implementation of restorative practices in authentic school settings. Thereafter, we offer what we believe is vital for institutional change: understanding the role Whiteness plays in disparate treatment and engaging in anti-racist school leadership. In the final section of the paper, we share specific strategies educators can use to navigate the change processes necessary to work toward racial equity in school discipline.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 120 Number 14, 2018, p. 1-24
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 22385, Date Accessed: 12/13/2018 3:38:43 PM

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About the Author
  • Katherine Cumings Mansfield
    University of North Carolina-Greensboro
    E-mail Author
    KATHERINE CUMINGS MANSFIELD is Associate Professor at University of North Carolina-Greensboro in the Department of Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations. Mansfield graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a PhD in Educational Policy and Planning and a doctoral portfolio in Women’s and Gender Studies. Mansfield’s interdisciplinary scholarship examines educational leadership, policy, and practice as it relates to identity intersectionalities such as gender, class, and race across P-20 contexts. Mansfield has published in a variety of venues, including: Educational Administration Quarterly, Education Policy Analysis Archives, Educational Studies, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, and Teachers College Record.
  • Stacey Rainbolt
    Goochland County Public Schools
    E-mail Author
    STACEY RAINBOLT is currently the Coordinator of Testing for Goochland County Public Schools’ secondary schools. She also holds the position of Director of School Counseling for Goochland Middle School in Goochland, Va. Dr. Rainbolt is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with an EdD in Leadership. Stacey’s passion is taking both quantitative and qualitative data and using it to help educators create an environment of high structure and high support so that all students can achieve. Rainbolt is published in Educational Administration Quarterly.
  • Elizabeth Fowler
    Goochland High School
    E-mail Author
    ELIZABETH SUTTON FOWLER is the Director of School Counseling for Goochland High School in Goochland, VA, and she graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with an EdD in Leadership. Fowler has over 20 years’ combined experience as both a secondary classroom teacher and a school counselor. She holds licenses in secondary English, gifted education, and school counseling. Dr. Fowler focuses in her current role on being an advocate for student voices and equity. She seeks to help other professionals understand that strong relationships with students, based on respect, can lead to positive educational, behavioral, and cultural change. Fowler is published in Educational Administration Quarterly.
 
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