20 05, 2021

Statewide (Free) Restorative Practices Train the Trainer -Apply Today!

2021-09-23T14:03:24-04:00May 20th, 2021|Tags: , , |

Peace Learning Center, in partnership with DMHA, has created a FREE train-the-trainer program for schools across the state of Indiana. In the Fall of 2021, the module for the Northern region of Indiana will begin.  . Each participating school will send a small team who will: Receive 5 days of training and will emerge as trainers, capable of training the rest of your staff Receive all training materials and resources Create a restorative discipline plan to help move your practices from punitive to restorative Be connected to a cohort of other schools to learn from and share resources Receive support and consultation from Peace Learning Center The training will be held completely virtually via Zoom. Apply here.

28 10, 2019

Restorative Practices Train-the-Trainer

2021-05-20T17:41:25-04:00October 28th, 2019|Tags: , |

by Kristina Hulvershorn We are all “The Peace People.”   I find myself saying that phrase more and more often.  As we learn and evolve as an organization, we strive to make the greatest impacts in the communities we serve.  In my world of restorative practices, we have learned the hard way that sometimes by being a good resource, we can actually do a disservice to our constituents. Let me explain. When we first began implementing restorative practices, we were eager to gain experience leading circles.  This was beneficial to the people who were part of them, but also to us as learners.  As we became more skilled practitioners, our partners began to lean on us more and more.  This felt good because our work 1) was working and 2) was valued.  As time went on, though, we realized that we had also poured a lot of time and energy into training people to do this work in their own schools and organizations.  Our presence, though, made us the peace people, and they had a much harder time seeing that they too were totally capable of the very same feats of peacemaking. We thought long and hard about how we can support schools and organizations. One way we did this was to look at the data that showed us which school and organizational partners were excelling in their implementation of restorative practices. There was an inverse relationship between those schools

15 01, 2019

Coming Soon, Everyday Circle Cards

2021-05-20T17:41:30-04:00January 15th, 2019|Tags: , , , |

What an exciting day! We just received some of our freshly designed Everyday Circle cards and we can’t wait to share them with the world! They are a brand new tool to help teachers who want to do this work but don't know where to start.  We have partnered with two other incredible organizations: Tribes and HEART to create Everyday Circles for teachers to implement SEL, restorative practices, humane education, and more.  There are 180 cards in the deck and each card has everything you need to lead your group through these processes, including images, prompts, and directions for interactive fun. We have had this vision for quite a long time and the stars finally aligned for us to make this happen! We have long thought that the actual work we do isn’t all that complicated but the support that you need to begin and maintain it, often is. Usually, this is a function of the need to change our mindset and learn new ideas incrementally to have time to actually implement and adjust.  All of this requires a lot of teacher training…a luxury many schools and teachers do not have.  So, without a lot of access to teachers, we thought, how can they learn how to do the work at the same time as they are doing it? That is exactly what these cards are designed to do.  If teachers can make a bit of time and commit

17 09, 2018

Impact Story: Intersection of Equity and Restorative Practices

2021-05-20T17:41:33-04:00September 17th, 2018|Tags: , , |

by Kristina Hulvershorn What does restorative practices have to do with equity?  In a word everything. I wanted to share a concept from our restorative practices trainings that might help clarify the connection. Every school and organization has boundaries.  Human beings need and thrive when we know the boundaries and we feel that they are fair.  Every school’s boundaries are slightly different…but almost every school in our geographical region has one thing in common: disproportionate discipline.  We issue harsher punishments on students of color. Specifically, black boys but also on black girls and  latinx boys and girls. But, channeling LeVar Burton, don’t take my word for it. Hit the books. Brilliant scholars have written extensively on this and you can even check out data from individual schools. So, I ask participants to explain what behaviors fall outside of those boundaries of acceptable behavior.  Swearing? Fighting? Disrespect?  Dressing out of uniform? Consider all of the gray areas in each of these categories.  What exactly is a swear word? Is horseplay considered fighting?  As we get in the weeds with that I then ask participants to consider, If behaving, thinking, or acting out of the box is what lands our kids in a realm of harsher discipline or worse, the school to prison pipeline, it’s time to consider the box itself. Specifically Who made that box?  Think about it. Who designed the norms of your school or organization? Let’s go ahead

2 02, 2018

Inside Restorative Practices Training

2021-05-20T17:41:38-04:00February 2nd, 2018|Tags: , |

Participants in Restorative Practices Workshops at Peace Learning Center are asked to dig deep and reflect honestly about how discipline is working (or not working) in their schools or organizations.  One dean comments, "It's a total culture change. Sure, I can keep these kids out for three days, but there's still going to be a problem when they get back so that solution doesn't fix the problem." He goes on to explain that last year his school had 204 suspensions in 180 days of schools and this year they've only had seven suspensions. He explains that he has to be part of a lot of conversations with school staff asking them if their suggested consequence will “fix” the behavior.  That question seems to encourage thought, but when punishment and suspension are the only tool we’ve seen used to address challenging behavior, we need to do what we can to show people that there is an entirely different way of thinking about and responding to these behaviors.  One that not only allows us to get to the root cause of issues, but one that also can help us address disproportionality of discipline on students of color, unhealthy school culture, and the over-reliance of punitive discipline (among others). That is the world of Restorative Practices. Another woman jumps in, catching where he's going with his story, "Punishment doesn't have to be a part of our solution." "Yes," he says, as the rest

21 09, 2017

Confession Time

2021-05-20T17:41:43-04:00September 21st, 2017|Tags: |

by Kristina Hulvershorn, Director of Restorative and Humane Programs Confession time.  In all of my work in various school districts and youth-serving environments I am notoriously calm and even-tempered; but, there is one thing I frequently want to exclaim, write across the sky, or maybe get tattooed in a conspicuous place: Accountability is not the same thing as punishment.  Unfortunately, this is one of the greatest stumbling blocks for those parents, teachers, and other professionals working to implement restorative practices. We are often so afraid that alternatives to traditional punishments won’t allow for one to “own” their actions and take responsibility that we fail to give them the opportunity.  We hold so tight to the notion that if we just punish them well enough, they’ll learn their lesson.  This simply isn’t true.   Heaps of data and all of my experience call this punishment mentality into question. How does this play out?  “He disrespected me and deserves to be punished”, “She knew better than to break that rule and so she should be suspended.”  The biggest challenge is not kids who refuse to take ownership. It’s us “grown-ups” who feel so put upon by negative behaviors that we have a hard time letting go and making room for youth to make amends, take ownership, and move forward. Let me further illustrate this point with a couple examples from my work in Restorative Justice in the last few weeks. Scenario one: 

19 04, 2017

Climate Change and Peacemaking

2021-05-20T17:41:45-04:00April 19th, 2017|Tags: , |

by Kristina Hulvershorn, Director of Humane Education and Restorative Practices February 27, 2017 was a big day for the youth of Indianapolis.  On that day, our city passed a Climate Resolution, which seeks to reduce carbon emissions, increase energy efficiency and renewable energy use, and help make our city climate-change resilient. This resolution makes our city the largest in the country with a youth-led resolution of this kind.  That's right..youth-led.  Youth of varying ages met with city councilors, helped with the language in the resolution, and gave speech after speech to their city council members, passionately articulating why we all need to pay attention to climate change. City Council Vice President Zach Adamson, the sponsor of the resolution remarked "I am overjoyed to see our city take this important step in reducing our negative impact on our environment and stand as an example for our residents and other cities. I'm also grateful for the vision of our City Council and our mayor to make these critically important changes. I'm proud to have played a small role behind the extraordinary drive and effort of these young Hoosiers who will inherit the world we leave them." How did we get here?  This group of youth became connected 3 years ago through a joint project of Peace Learning Center, HEART and Earth Charter Indiana.  We had the idea of connecting youth concerned about this issue for a week-long summer camp. We offered them interactive

27 03, 2017

Restorative Justice Circles in the Classroom

2021-05-20T17:41:46-04:00March 27th, 2017|Tags: |

by Clare Wildhack-Nolan, Youth Development Facilitator I believe that Restorative Justice is a powerful tool as an educator and community member. The process is powerful as well as the solutions created.   I have been doing Restorative Justice Circles with a teacher who has been struggling with behavior issues in the classroom.  I want to support the teacher's desire to build relationships and to capture kids' hearts in his classes.  This teacher has a remedial English class with a lot of students who are frustrated with that topic and have not passed their ISTEP.  Needless to say, many of them rather just not be there.  I can't say that Circles are always productive when participants don't want to be there, but in this situation, I think it worked. They create a feeling of community and is built around the concept that everyone in the group should have a voice, are knowledgeable, and contribute worthwhile information and experience. The culture of RJ Circles often fosters a feeling that is the opposite of ISTEP prep.   In third period we now have done proactive circles, designed for relationship building and student generated themes of discussion.  The other day we were able to have a restorative circle.  The group was able to share and problem-solve sharing honest reflection regarding their own class dynamics.  Students contributed their concerns around individual behaviors as well as the boredom they sometimes face with curriculum.  The teacher was

10 06, 2016

Circle Keepers at Ralph Waldo Emerson #58

2021-05-20T17:41:57-04:00June 10th, 2016|Tags: , |

As we began to implement restorative practices into our One Indy schools in early January 2016 we found a high demand for more people to be available to lead both proactive and restorative circles in classrooms across our schools. This led to our first ever Circle Keeper training for volunteers. Many of our volunteers were from a program we called Peace Church Ambassadors and they helped almost exclusively with implementing restorative practices at Ralph Waldo Emerson #58 while our Youth Development Facilitator, Mame Keita, was out on maternity leave. Near the end of the school year, one of these volunteers, Linda,  was unable to finish out the academic year with the classrooms she had been serving for nearly 6 months. The letters below were given to Linda from students in each of these classrooms and are a true testament to not only the effectiveness of restorative practices but the hard work and dedication our volunteers provide! "I am glad your have came to are school. You have made all of us a better person even me...I hope you get better soon we will miss you." "Ms. Linda please get better. I already miss you please come back when you feel better and when you were here we all got to express our feelings and..." "...we all want you to come back. We want you here so we can express are feeling without anybody judging us and

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