A Chat with JD Fergus: Upper School Restorative Justice Coordinator

Q: What is Restorative Justice?

A: Restorative Justice is a school-wide initiative that promotes fairness and that focuses on making amends within a community when a wrong has occurred. The practice of Restorative Justice in action at PHA involves: peacemaking circles, community conferences, peer mediation, peer juries, and restorative chats that lead to healing and restored relationships.

Q: What should families remember about using Restorative Practices at home?

A: Using Restorative Practices at home does not mean that families are giving up their status as adults. It means that they are simply listening to their child and giving their child an opportunity to express emotions, feelings, and thoughts. We can guide our children by listening to them attentively. Afterwards, we can explain where their thinking is appropriate and where there could be improvement.

Q: What can families do to support their child with Restorative Practices?

A: Families can listen to and deepen their relationship with their child as well as create uninterrupted opportunities for their child to explain "their" side of the story. This prevents negative emotions from building up within a child, particularly if they feel that they have been wronged and do not have an opportunity to explain their side of the story. Families can also participate in circles with their child at school and promote respect for Restorative Practices in the home.