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This theme has to do with levels of trust and quality of relationships between youth and adults in school. There are a lot of negative relationships between youth and teachers and we need to change that. Students get sent out of class and suspended a lot. We get disciplined for a lot of things that could be avoided if better communication and more trust existed in the first place.

Also, we are youth and we make mistakes. We need adults to help guide us when we make mistakes, not just punish us.

There is A LOT of racism in the way discipline happens in schools too: nationally and here in New London, Black and brown students get suspended and expelled at much higher rates than white students.


Issues happening now

  • Students just being suspended with no real guide through their actions

  • Students continually getting in trouble (with the fact of having home or other issues playing behind their actions)

  • Discipline system unfair

  • Too many students getting thrown out of class, suspended or put in PRR

  • Getting a reputation for being bad, changing that is hard

  • Not getting the support you need to succeed

  • Focus on discipline more than education

  • Teachers being disrespectful

  • ELL students get treated badly

  • Teachers being disrespectful to students

  • Bullying

  • Dress Code- teachers and deans harassing students daily

  • Dress code- why should you lose class time for dress code

  • Late policy- why do you lose credit for being late?

  • Attendance policy- losing credits for being absent even if you’re passing the class

  • They care more about discipline than they do education    

  • No restorative practices being practiced and in our schools even though a lot of staff have been trained

What we want and neeD

  • Restorative Justice

    • We’ve talked a LOT and we know we want restorative justice. We’re still figuring out what that really means. So far, it means circles in classrooms to build relationships; circles to resolve conflict (like fights or arguments) or conflict between teachers and students;

    • Instead of in-school suspension, for example, you get a restorative circle

  • People and staff more invested in the well-being of the students

  • Students being heard during certain situations; often our side of the story is never heard or taken into account

  • People actually trained to help do restorative justice in school

  • Anti Racism training for all teachers and staff



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