A grant from the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) is funding the launch of Restorative Justice in Education, a pilot program run by Kean University to support a more inclusive and less punitive discipline culture in K-12 schools.
In October, 15 New Jersey school districts at the elementary, middle and high school levels began restorative justice training taught by Kean facilitators.
“This program will foster a restorative justice philosophy by providing schools with the resources, tools and techniques needed to repair harm and restore relationships to build a stronger sense of community and student success," said Dr. Adara Goldberg, lead facilitator and director of the Holocaust Resource Center at Kean. "Restorative justice is a way of life built on relationships and trust.”
Suspensions disproportionately impact minority students; the suspension rate of Black students in New Jersey was three times that of their white peers. According to data collected by the DOE in the 2018-2019 school year, students in New Jersey lost 168,509 school days due to out-of-school suspension.