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School staff perceptions and barriers to implementation of restorative justice

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Title:
School staff perceptions and barriers to implementation of restorative justice
Creator:
Gournic, Hope Marie
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
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Language:
English

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Doctorate ( Doctor of philosophy)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
School of Education and Human Development, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
School psychology
Committee Chair:
Harris, Bryn
Committee Members:
Crepeau-Hobson, Franci
Geisler, Lisa

Notes

Abstract:
In response to documented negative life outcomes for students due to zero-tolerance discipline policies in schools, the American Psychological Association (2008) has identified restorative justice as an alternative discipline method for school systems (American Psychological Association Zero Tolerance Task Force, 2008; Christle, Nelson, & Jolivette, 2004; Martinez, 2009, Sughrue, 2003). This study attempts to uncover the perspectives of teachers and school staff, as well as the perceived barriers to the implementation of restorative justice in schools. Thirty-three people consisting of Early Elementary through High School Teachers, Administration, Paraprofessionals, and Special Service Providers were surveyed. Results were analyzed using descriptive statistics, factorial ANOVA, and qualitative chunking methods. Results of this study suggest that the majority of people who work in education somewhat agree that restorative justice models should replace punitive discipline, but that there should be a balance between exclusionary discipline and restorative methods. According to teachers and school staff, the biggest perceived barrier to implementing restorative justice in the school setting is time constraints, followed by staff shortages and high turnover rates. Along the same lines, there are logistical concerns in several schools, such as a lack of private space for restorative conferencing, and a lack of staff and student buy-in and training.
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University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
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Copyright Hope Marie Gournic. Permission granted to University of Colorado Denver to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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Full Text
SCHOOL STAFF PERCEPTIONS AND BARRIERS TO
IMPLEMENTATION OF RESTORATIVE JUSTICE
by
HOPE MARIE GOURNIC B.A., University of Northern Colorado, 2009
A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Psychology School Psychology Program
2018


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This thesis for the Doctor of Psychology degree by Hope Marie Goumic has been approved for the School Psychology Program by
Bryn Harris, Chair Franci Crepeau-Hobson Lisa Geisler
Date: May 12, 2018


Gournic, Hope Marie (PsyD, School Psychology)
School Staff Perceptions and Barriers to Implementation of Restorative Justice Thesis directed by Associate Professor Bryn Harris
ABSTRACT
In response to documented negative life outcomes for students due to zero-tolerance discipline policies in schools, the American Psychological Association (2008) has identified restorative justice as an alternative discipline method for school systems (American Psychological Association Zero Tolerance Task Force, 2008; Christie, Nelson, & Jolivette, 2004; Martinez, 2009, Sughrue, 2003). This study attempts to uncover the perspectives of teachers and school staff, as well as the perceived barriers to the implementation of restorative justice in schools. Thirty-three people consisting of Early Elementary through High School Teachers, Administration, Paraprofessionals, and Special Service Providers were surveyed. Results were analyzed using descriptive statistics, factorial ANOVA, and qualitative chunking methods. Results of this study suggest that the majority of people who work in education somewhat agree that restorative justice models should replace punitive discipline, but that there should be a balance between exclusionary discipline and restorative methods. According to teachers and school staff, the biggest perceived barrier to implementing restorative justice in the school setting is time constraints, followed by staff shortages and high turnover rates. Along the same lines, there are logistical concerns in several schools, such as a lack of private space for restorative conferencing, and a lack of staff and student buy-in and training.
The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication.
Approved: Bryn Harris


IV
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I. INTRODUCTION...........................................1
II. LITERATURE REVIEW.....................................3
III. METHOD...............................................11
IV. RESULTS...............................................14
V. DISCUSSION............................................24
REFERENCES..................................................28
APPENDIX....................................................31


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CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION
Discipline in education has long been a topic of ethical questioning and cultural conflict. Educators are faced with the challenge of finding a balance between supporting students who demonstrate behavioral difficulties, and protecting the students who’s learning may be interrupted by these behaviors. Federal mandates in the United States have been implemented as an effort to reduce school violence. However, varied translation of these mandates has influenced disproportionality and inappropriate removal of students of color (American Psychological Association Zero Tolerance Task Force, 2008; Christie, Nelson, & Jolivette, 2004; Martinez, 2009, Sughrue, 2003).
State statutes have influenced zero-tolerance policies in which schools prescribe suspension and expulsion as punishment for specific student behaviors such as bringing weapons to school, physical fights, verbal aggression, bringing tobacco and alcohol to school, etc. The American Psychological Association (2008) has suggested a need for alternative approaches to school discipline in response to the extensive research that has demonstrated the damaging impacts of zero-tolerance policies. One such approach that has been identified is restorative justice, a process in which offenders are held accountable for their behavior, the harm that occurred is repaired, and support is provided for the offender “to encourage reintegration into the community” (Suvall, 2009, P. 558).
It is clear that the available literature regarding the effectiveness of restorative justice in schools summarize positive effects on behavior and academic outcomes. It is also clear that punitive and exclusionary discipline lead to negative outcomes in academics and increases in law-breaking behaviors. However, many schools have historically employed the use of punitive discipline, and continue to do so even when presented with current research (Cornell, 2006;


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Mallett, 2016). Educators are overwhelmed with various initiatives, and changing the culture of an entire school is no easy undertaking. It is imperative to examine the areas of resistance in implementing restorative justice practices so that educators are given the appropriate supports throughout the process of change, and so national and school level policies may be altered in efforts to alleviate racial disproportionality and increase positive academic outcomes for students.


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CHAPTER II LITERATURE REVIEW
Restorative Justice
Restorative Justice is broadly defined as the practice of repairing relationships and harm caused within the school community using conferences, mediations, and structured talking circles (Gonzales, 2012; Suvall, 2009). The restorative process, particularly in the form of passing a talking piece around a circle as a form of structured communication, has been traced back to multiple indigenous communities across the world. Communities including but not limited to Native American tribes, the Maori people of New Zealand, ancient Celtic practices, and Aboriginal Australians (Hamlin & Darling, 2012). A restorative style of discipline in schools utilizes all stakeholders (teachers, students, administrators, parents, community members, etc.) to build support for “victims and offenders, providing both with an opportunity to share their perspectives and to work together to reach a reparative solution” (Suvall, 2009, p. 547).
According to Pavelka (2013), there are typically four models from which school-based restorative justice is focused; peer mediation, peer/accountability boards, conferencing, and circles. Peer mediation includes a small group of affected parties (usually 2 to 4) and a trained facilitator, and utilizes a short, scripted process to encourage healing dialogue and informal resolution between all stakeholders. Peer/accountability boards include 5 to 6 appointed student board members and the offenders and victims. Stakeholders create an individualized case plan during the board meeting in which all members must agree upon and sign. Case plans might include community service, letters of apology, mentoring, counseling, or tutoring. Conferencing holds the same process and purpose of peer-mediation and boards, but differs in that it includes a larger group of participants (5 to 10), and may be longer in duration. Circles may be used to “improve classroom management techniques, guide conversations on difficult topics, and


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guide problem resolution” (Pavelka, 2013, p. 15). The circle encompasses those impacted by the occurance, and relevant community members.
McCluskey et al. (2008) defines ‘relational inquiry’ as the primary focus of restorative conferencing. The inquiry process runs according to the objectives of understanding who has been hurt, what happened (from all stakeholder’s perspectives), and communication and agreement between the victim and the offender in what can be done to repair the harm. According to the United Nations, the modes in which restorative justice may be achieved may include “restitution of property, restitution to the victim by the offender, reparations...” (United Nations, 2003, P.28). A loose script is presented by McCluskey et al. (2008) in which a restorative conference leader may use to achieve a successful inquiry procedure:
• What happened?
• What were you thinking at the time?
• What have you thought about since?
• Who has been impacted by what you did?
• In what ways?
• What do you think you need to do to make things right?
Kuo, Longmire, & Cuvelier (2010) identify three key components of restorative justice: dialogue, building relationships, and communication of moral values. Research shows that when victims and offenders are given equal dialogue and comfort in speaking openly, dialogue alone can act as a healing process for victims and repentance for offenders (Webb, 2007; Zarp & Breslin, 2001). Relationship building and a sense of social belonging in the school setting has been found to have a strong impact on academic success (Anderman, 2003; Battistich, V., Solomon, D., Kim, D., Watson, M., & Schaps, E., 1995). Therefore school rule-breaking behaviors may harm not only the offender, but the other members of the school community as


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well (Zarp & Breslin, 2001). Thus, Zarp & Breslin (2001) recommend a focus on relational rehabilitation in order to fully meet the “needs of both the victim and the offender as well as the needs of the community to sustain a safe learning culture” (p. 252). Additionally, a school’s purpose is to educate it’s students and to shape successful members of the community. This includes teaching appropriate social behaviors and communication of moral values. Braithwaite (1999) suggests that communicating or teaching moral values is essential in avoiding offender recidivism.
Exclusionary Discipline
In contrast to restorative justice, punitive discipline in schools, such as office referrals, suspensions and expulsions focus largely on assigning specific punishments for rule breaking behaviors. That is, school leaders do things to or for the offender, rather than working with them to teach problem solving strategies. Many schools have a tendency to rely heavily on exclusionary discipline in order to “preserve order and safety by removing students who break school rules and disrupt the school learning environment” (Gregory, Skiba, & Noguera, 2010, p. 59). These forms of exclusionary practices have been employed in schools for decades, and have been further emphasized by zero tolerance policies in the United States in response to an increase in school shootings and the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 (Morrison & Vaandering, 2012).
The implementation of exclusionary discipline in schools has been historically influenced by educational law and federal funds, which are contingent on the implementation of zero tolerance laws. The Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994 (GFSA) requires schools to adopt state laws requiring expulsion for a period of at least one year for students who have brought a weapon to school, and to refer said student to the juvenile delinquent system (U.S. Department of Education Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994, 2004). Sughrue (2003) found that the transition from federal


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mandate of zero tolerance policies to state statute has resulted in both positive and negative consequences. Specifically, there has been an ongoing trend of state education departments moving towards more exclusionary practices in response to offenses and behaviors not identified in the GFSA. Sughrue (2003) suggests that schools have implemented policies that require automatic suspension and expulsion for “ordinary schoolyard fights, verbal abuse, possession of tobacco or alcohol, and even chronic tardiness” (p. 241).
However, evidence indicates that exclusionary and punitive discipline is largely ineffective and may have damaging impacts on student achievement and school climate (American Psychological Association Zero Tolerance Task Force, 2008; Christie, Nelson, & Jolivette, 2004; Martinez, 2009). Furthermore, Morrison and Vaandering (2012) explain that little is understood about the root causes of harmful behaviors and their effects when prescribed levels of punishment are employed in response to the harmful behaviors. In other words, students and school staff are unlikely to learn and grow from behavioral incidents when students are simply removed from the environment without any follow-up.
Disproportionality
A major criticism of punitive and exclusionary discipline practices is the presence of disproportionality. Previous studies uncover overrepresentation of students of color in out-of-school suspensions and zero tolerance related expulsions (Rocque, 2010; Eitle & Eitle, 2004; Skiba et al., 2014; Mizel et al., 2016). Skiba et al. (2014) suggests that when behavioral variables are held constant, race and gender significantly predict more severe disciplinary outcomes and the likelihood of out-of-school suspensions. Similarly, a study by Gastic (2017) reports “differences in students’ behavior do not fully explain the disproportionate likelihood that Black
students are disciplined” (p. 172).


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There is further evidence that disproportionalities within discipline practices have contributed to academic underperformance in Black, Latino, and Native American students (Gregory, Skiba, & Noguero, 2010). When students are excluded from their school environment and experience severe punishment by school faculty, it is more likely that they will experience distrust and feelings of not belonging within their school. “Students who are less bonded to school may be more likely to turn to law-breaking activities and become less likely to experience academic success” (Gregory, Skiba, & Noguero, 201 Op. 60). Also known as the ‘ school-to-prison pipeline,’ school suspensions of students of color may double the probably of future arrests, and increase criminal offending behavior (Cuellar & Markowitz, 2015).
Implementation and Effects of Restorative Justice
When comparing restorative justice strategies to punitive discipline practices in schools, research has shown that restorative justice is more effective in reducing re-offenses in misbehavior, and in turn strengthening the school climate (Bernard, 2014; Hayes & Daly, 2003; Latimer et al., 2005; Gelsthorpe & Morris, 2000). A recent study by Payne & Welch (2015) describes that it is crucial for schools to switch from a punitive discipline system to a restorative system in order to increase student success and support a more inclusive school environment, specifically for our more diverse student populations. Not only does a restorative system prevent students from missing valuable education time, it also gives students the opportunity to learn problem-solving skills and build stronger relationships.
While research regarding restorative justice as an effective way to reduce student behavior problems is promising, many schools nevertheless rely on punitive and exclusionary discipline. Taking on a school-wide behavior initiative that requires a total shift in culture and values is no small task. Moving from punitive discipline to restorative practices “requires a different mindset on the part of educators and makers of educational policy. Its implementation


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requires a cultural shift in the way in which providers of education perceive themselves and are perceived by others.” (Vamham, 2005, p. 99) Educators must essentially shift from a position of power over students, to acting as an equal participant in the problem solving process. According to current literature, behavior management in schools tends to be authoritative and hierarchical, a power separation of teachers vs. students. According to Varnham (2005), a change in this culture of the school may be achieved gradually, by developing policies at the national and school level, followed by extensive staff training.
A study by McCluskey et al. (2008) examined staff and pupil response to a restorative justice pilot program in Scotland. Eighteen schools were studied regarding the effects of the implementation of restorative justice practices after a two-year period. The researchers collected data from ten secondary schools, seven primary schools, and one school for students with moderate learning disabilities. The study compared data collected from group and individual interviews with school staff, students, and the families of the students. The researchers also conducted a student and staff survey, a review of records and policies, and observations of meetings, activities, and lessons. It was found that many school staff, particularly in secondary schools, found it very difficult to reconcile their current behavior management or discipline policies with restorative practices. Though the educators were eager to see how restorative justice could support their work with their students, they were unsure about its use in more serious behavioral infractions. A staff survey also indicated that most staff felt that punishment was sometimes necessary.
Findings such as those above highlight a noteworthy argument by Gavrielides (2008). Gavrielides suggested that though there is a body of literature that discusses the applicable nature of restorative justice, there is a significant amount of confusion that exists within the restorative movement. Through a review of literature, Gavrielides identifies six existing conflicts or fault-


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lines that currently exist within the restorative justice movement. Four of the identified faultlines lie within differing notions of where restorative justice belongs; integrated within the current system, or a total replacement of the current system. As the study by McCluskey et al. (2008) uncovered, school staff found it difficult to conceptualize where punishment fit within the scenario, and where to abandon all punishments. Building on this point, the authors concluded that there is a conflict in definitions of restorative justice. Most view it as a decision making process, while others feel that this view ignores restorative outcomes (such as community service, compensation, etc.) and is therefore incomplete. The effects of restorative practices largely depend on the institution’s adopted definition of restorative justice.
Anfara, Evans, and Lester (2013) described several challenges in adopting restorative practices in the educational setting. The adoption of these practices in schools has been slow, primarily due to the amount of time and resources that it requires. Such a change in school climate may take three to five years to fully implement, and the process may seem much more time consuming and more difficult to apply than punitive strategies. Additionally, restorative justice in schools currently lacks conceptual clarity and that clashing philosophies are found to be a significant obstacle (Anfara et al., 2013).
Research suggests that restorative justice has the most impact when school staff is prepared to review their own values and reflect on their daily interactions (McCluskey et al., 2008; Morrison et al., 2006). McCluskey et al. (2008) found that restorative justice appeared “most effective when behaviour was seen as an issue to be addressed through restorative strategies that involved active learning for all children and for staff across the school” (p. 415). This outlook was more prevalent in teachers when the school management team modeled commitment and enthusiasm for the initiative, and where administration had invested in significant professional development training on the topic. Where these factors were present,


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there was a significant positive impact on relationships and a reduction of discipline referrals, playground incidents, and a need for external support.
There is an apparent gap in the literature regarding the resistance experienced by school staff when presented with alternative discipline initiatives. This study aims to answer the following research questions: (1) What are the perceptions and opinions of school staff regarding the use of restorative justice in schools? (2) What are the perceived barriers of school staff and educators in regards to the implementation of restorative practices as an alternative to exclusionary discipline? (3) Is there a relationship between school staff job role, job setting, and years of experience in education in regards to reported level of knowledge about restorative justice, as well as level of agreement that restorative justice should replace punitive discipline? (4) Is there a relationship between special education job status, culturally and linguistically diverse school status, and above 60% Free and Reduced Lunch participation status in regards to reported level of knowledge about restorative justice, as well as level of agreement that restorative justice should replace punitive discipline?


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CHAPTER III METHODS
Setting
The study was conducted at a large Colorado school district consisting of approximately 200 schools and 100,000 students. The district encompasses urban and suburban settings, with a broad range of students from various socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.
Participants
In efforts to explore the perceptions and barriers which educators encounter in public schools, participants were chosen via convenience and random sampling. The researcher selected 5 different schools (2 elementary, 1 middle school, 2 high schools) within the same district in which they had current or previous employment with. It was requested that the administration of the schools send out an email with a link to a survey to all teachers and special service providers (School Psychologists, Speech Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Gifted and Talented teachers, Paras, Substitutes, etc.). Administrators were also asked to complete the survey. There was no identifying information included with the surveys, and all responses were considered anonymous. Considering the survey was administered solely in English, only participants who spoke English were included in the sample.
Measures
The research instrument was administered to participants via an anonymous online Qualtrics survey. An online survey was chosen because of the low cost and the accessible nature of sending the survey link out to a large net of online participants. The Qualtrics survey allowed participants to click on the survey link through their email, fill it out, and submit the information
within a short amount of time.


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The survey instrument was constructed by the researcher using the literature review as a foundation, as no adaptable surveys were found within the literature that aimed at answering the research questions. The survey consisted of 10 questions. Three of the questions were closed-ended, multiple-choice responses. Key concepts such as participant school settings and demographics were assessed with these questions. To gain more information about cultural disproportionality in student discipline, participants were asked to report whether or not their job role was within a school that was considered Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD). According to the US Department of Education, CLD is a term that defines schools that serve over 40% of students who are ethnic minorities, either non-English proficient or limited-English proficient, or live in homes where the primary language of communication is not English (Gonzalez, Pagan, Wendell, & Love, 2011).
An open-ended question allowed participants to describe their current discipline methods, and a Likert-Scale of 1 to 5 indicated the participant’s level of experience and knowledge of restorative justice. A multiple-selection list gathered information about which methods of restorative justice the participant has utilized in their classroom or school, and an additional Likert-Scale of 1 to 10 captured how strongly the participants agreed with replacing punitive discipline with restorative justice. Lastly, the final two questions were open-ended; allowing participants to expand on previous answers and to describe any barriers they have experienced or foresee in implementing restorative justice in their schools (see survey tool in appendix).
The pros to using forced-answer questions were that participants were not left to try and think of their own answers, which may lead to a great level of fatigue and more time to complete the survey. These questions were also chosen as a way to streamline the analysis process, and to find themes within answers that are more readily comparable. The cons to using so many forced answer questions are that participants are not able to devise as many individual, organic answers


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to their thoughts on implementing restorative justice. Threats to validity may arise, as participants may feel forced to answer a certain way. However, the survey questions were devised considering current literature that support the multiple selection list options. This increased reliability, and the likelihood of yielding results that aligns with current literature. The inclusion of open-ended questions allowed for participants to add anything else that they felt the forced-answer questions did not touch on. The multiple formats in which key concepts were measured allowed for comprehensive content that is grounded in theory, and therefore contributed to a strong measurement validity and reliability. Additionally, the survey was pretested for face validity by 3 peers before being administered to the sample.
Analysis Procedure
Statistical analysis of results included percentages and frequencies for nominal data. Descriptive statistics and measures of central tendency were calculated for ordinal data to provide mean, median, and mode. Factorial ANOVA was utilized to find if the level of knowledge regarding restorative justice, as well as the level of agreement that restorative justice should replace punitive discipline is significantly different depending on job role, job setting, and years of experience. Similarly, Factorial ANOVA was calculated to find if the level of knowledge regarding restorative justice, as well as the level of agreement that restorative justice should replace punitive discipline is significantly different depending on if the participant worked within Special Education, a school with over 60% Free and Reduced Lunch participation, and schools that are considered Culturally and Linguistically Diverse. Lastly, chunking methods were used to analyze all open-ended, qualitative responses.


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CHAPTER IV RESULTS
Respondent Demographics
The survey was distributed across a sample of 236 educators and school staff, of which 203 either did not respond, or did not meet the criteria for the study (did not give informed consent before filling out the survey or did not complete the survey in full). The final survey responses included 33 total participants. The sample consisted of 14 elementary school teachers (42.2%), 7 special service providers (21.2%), 5 high school teachers (15.2%), 2 elementary school administrators (6.1%), 2 early childhood educators (6.1%), 2 paraprofessionals (6.1%), and 1 middle school teacher (3%) (see Table 1).
Of the 33 participants, years of experience in education were positively skewed. Most participants (N=16; 48.5%) indicated that they had 0 to 5 years of experience in education, five had 5 to 10 years of experience (15.2%), five had 10 to 15 years of experience (15.2%), and 7 had more than 15 years of experience (21.2%). The following tables describe the profile of the survey respondents. The participants were evenly distributed between Urban (N=17; 51.5%) and Suburban (N=16, 48.5%) school settings, with none of them being from a Rural setting. Eight of the participants reported that they work within Special Education (24.2%), fifteen work at schools which are considered Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (45.5%), and fifteen work at schools in which more than 60% of the student body participates in the Free and Reduced Lunch Program (45.5%).


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Table 1
Percentages and Frequencies of Job Role
Variable % N
Elementary School Administration 6.1 2
Early Childhood Elementary Teacher 6.1 2
Elementary Teacher 42.4 14
Middle School Teacher 3 1
High School Teacher 15.2 5
Paraprofessional 6.1 2
Special Service Provider 21.2 7
Table 2
Percentages and Frequencies of Years of Experience
Variable % N
0 to 5 Years 48.5 16
5 to 10 Years 15.2 5
10 to 15 Years 15.2 5
More than 15 Years 21.2 7
Table 3
Percentages and Frequencies of School Setting
Variable % N
Urban 51.5 17
Suburban 48.5 16
Rural 0 0
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse 45.5 15
Above 60% Free and Reduced Lunch Participation 45.5 15
Special Education 24.2 8
Level of Knowledge Regarding Restorative Justice
The majority of the survey participants rated their knowledge base of restorative justice on a scale of 1 to 5 as a “3,” or “fair” (Range=3). All had at least heard of restorative justice, as the lowest rating was a “2” Only one participant rated their knowledge as “extensive,” or a “5.” The following table reports descriptive statistics for survey participant level of knowledge regarding restorative justice in schools.


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Table 4
Descriptives for Level of Knowledge
Measure Value
Mean 3.55
Standard Error 0.13
Median 4
Mode 3
Standard Deviation 0.74
Sample Variance 0.57
Kurtosis -0.19
Skewness 0.07
Range 3
Minimum 2
Maximum 5
Sum 117
Count 33
Level of Agreement with Restorative Justice
According to participant ratings on a scale of 1 to 10, most of the sample somewhat agrees that punitive discipline should be replaced by restorative justice (Mean=7.82, Median=8, Mode=8). However, level of agreement is negatively skewed (skew= -1.51) and had the most variability in answers (s2= 3.59). Only one participant gave a rating of “1,” indicating they completely disagreed with restorative justice replacing punitive discipline. Six participants indicated that they completely agree with replacing punitive discipline with restorative justice, giving the question a rating of “10.” The following table describes the descriptive statistics for the participant responses regarding level of agreement with the statement that “restorative justice should replace punitive discipline.”


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Table 5
Descriptives for Level of Agreement
Measure Value
Mean 7.82
Standard Error 0.33
Median 8
Mode 8
Standard Deviation 1.89
Sample Variance 3.59
Kurtosis 3.93
Skewness -1.51
Range 9
Minimum 1
Maximum 10
Sum 258
Count 33
Relationships Between Demographics, Knowledge and Agreement
A 7 x 3 x 4 factorial ANOVA was computed to investigate the relationship between job role (Elementary School Administrator, Early Elementary School Teacher, Elementary School Teacher, Middle School Teacher, High School Teacher, Paraprofessional, and Special Service Provider) job setting (Urban, Suburban, Rural), years of experience (0 to 5 years, 5 to 10 years, 10 to 15 years, over 15 years) and level of knowledge regarding restorative justice. Assumptions were checked and met. A significant interaction was found between the effects of Years of Experience on Level of Knowledge, F(3, 13) = 6.508,/)=.001, partial rj2=.586 . Table 6 presents the results of the ANOVA. Simple effects analyses revealed that participants who have 0 to 10 years of experience feel that they have a higher level of knowledge regarding restorative justice than those with 10 to 15 years of experience, and those with more than 15 years of experience feel they have the least knowledge regarding restorative justice (d=1.422). Simple effects for other comparisons were not significant, indicating that job role and job setting do not influence level of knowledge ratings.


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Table 6
Two-way Analysis of Variance for Level of Knowledge as a Function of Job Role, Job Setting, and Years of Experience________________________________________________________
Variable and Source df MS F h2
Role 6 .167 .419 .162
Setting 1 .000 .000 .000
Years of Experience 3 2.436 6.129** .586
Role* Setting* Years of 3 2.439 6.508 .000
Experience 13 .397
Error
**p=.001
A 2 x 2 x 2 factorial ANOVA was computed to investigate the relationship between Special Education Status (SPED, Non-SPED), Free and Reduced Lunch Status (FRL, Non-FRL), Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Status (CLD, Non-CLD) and level of knowledge regarding restorative justice. Assumptions were checked and met. There were no significant interactions found, indicating that whether or not the participants work in special education, a school with above 60% Free and Reduced Lunch, and a culturally and linguistically diverse school do not influence level of knowledge ratings. Table 7 describes the results of the ANOVA.
Table 7
Two-way Analysis of Variance for Level of Knowledge as a Function of Special Education Status, Free and Reduced Lunch Status, and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Status
Variable and Source df MS F h2
SPED 1 .167 .299 .012
FRL 1 .013 .023 .001
CLD 1 .455 .814 .032
SPED *FRL* CLD 0 .052 .682 .000
Error 25 .559
**p=.001
A 7 x 3 x 4 factorial ANOVA was computed to investigate the relationship between job role (Elementary School Administrator, Early Elementary School Teacher, Elementary School Teacher, Middle School Teacher, High School Teacher, Paraprofessional, and Special Service Provider) job setting (Urban, Suburban, Rural), years of experience (0 to 5 years, 5 to 10 years, 10 to 15 years, over 15 years) and level of agreement that restorative justice should replace punitive discipline. Assumptions were checked and met. There were no significant interactions


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found, indicating that job role, job setting, and years of experience do not influence level of agreement ratings. Table 8 describes the results of the ANOVA.
Table 8
Two-way Analysis of Variance for Level of Agreement as a Function of Job Role, Job Setting, and Years of Experience________________________________________________________
Variable and Source df MS F h2
Role 6 4.509 1.522 .413
Setting 1 10.906 3.682 .221
Years of Experience 3 1.184 .400 .084
Role* Setting* Years of 0 2.439 1.286 .000
Experience 13 2.962
Error
**p=.001
Finally, a 2 x 2 x 2 factorial ANOVA was computed to investigate the relationship between Special Education Status (SPED, Non-SPED), Free and Reduced Lunch Status (FRL, Non-FRL), Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Status (CLD, Non-CLD) and level of agreement that restorative justice should replace punitive discipline. Assumptions were checked and met. There were no significant interactions found, indicating that special education status, free and reduced lunch status, and culturally and linguistically diverse status do not influence level of agreement ratings. Table 9 describes the results of the ANOVA.
Table 9
Two-way Analysis of Variance for Level of Agreement as a Function of Special Education Status, Free and Reduced Lunch Status, and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Status________
Variable and Source df MS F h2
SPED 1 9.698 2.413 .088
FRL 1 1.217 .303 .012
CLD 1 .078 .020 .001
SPED *FRL* CLD 0 .315 .203 .000
Error 25 .167
**p=.001
Use of Restorative Approaches
Of the 33 survey respondents, 6 reported that they do not currently utilize any restorative justice methods in their classroom or school. Of the 27 respondents that reported that they do utilize restorative justice methods, 21 use Conferencing, 20 guide their students through Peer


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Mediation, 17 use Whole-Class Circles, and only 1 indicated that they utilize Student-Led Peer Accountability Boards. Additionally, 6 respondents expressed that they use other types of methods that they would consider restorative in nature. The following chart describes the number of participants in relation to how they do or do not utilize restorative justice in their classrooms or schools.
Chart 1
Restorative Justice Methods Utilized by Survey Participants
25 t--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Conferencing Peer Mediation Whole-Class Peer Other I do not use RJ
Circles Accountability Boards
Restorative Justice Method Used
Discipline Practices
Major themes were found throughout the open-ended survey questions regarding current discipline practices of the respondents (see Appendix Table 1.1). Teachers were asked to describe their current discipline practices in a short paragraph. A large number of respondents described that they try to focus largely on restorative approaches to discipline (N=19). Several respondents described that they attempt to build relationships, open lines of communication, and respect as a culture of the classroom. These respondents believe that this practice decreases behavioral infractions in their classroom.
Approximately half of the respondents (N=15) reported use of a Positive Behavior Support System (PBIS) which utilizes a color clip routine with built-in rewards and consequences. Along the same lines, 12 respondents indicated that they employ a class-wide


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token economy and emphasize positive praise and rewards as a proactive method of discipline. Several participants (N=l 1) described the use of prescribed consequences for specific behavioral infractions such as a call home to parents, missing recess or specials classes, and sending students to the principal’s office.
A quarter of the respondents utilize posted visual expectations (N=8) and verbal reminders (N=7) as part of their discipline system, and 2 described the use of behavior plans for students who do not respond to whole-class methods and repeated consequences. In addition to keeping students in their homeroom during recess or specials classes, exclusionary discipline was reportedly employed by 11 respondents, stating that they seclude the student so that they can “re-focus before re-entering the classroom,” give students after-school detention, or refer them for in-school or out-of-school suspension.
Barriers to Restorative Justice
Several major themes were discovered throughout survey participant responses to perceived barriers in the implementation of restorative justice in schools. Participants were asked to describe any barriers in which they have experienced or predict in implementing restorative justice. The most occurring themes were the barriers of time constraints (N=7), staff shortages and turnover (N=5), concern for the immediate safety of students and staff (N=5), and logistical complications (N=3) such as no private spaces for conferencing and not being able to locate/pull away designated staff at the time they are needed. Three respondents believe that there is a high likelihood of staff misunderstanding the system and therefore do not use restorative justice correctly.
Survey participants expressed that educators and school staff are generally extremely busy people, and that there is not enough time in the day to effectively commit to and implement restorative justice for each student who may need it. They also expressed that there is a need for


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additional staff members to implement the more time consuming procedures such as conferencing and training students how to lead peer accountability boards. Considering high teacher turnover and a lack of funds in some districts and schools, several respondents believe that restorative justice will not be successfully implemented. Moreover, several survey respondents feel that though restorative justice may be appropriate for smaller behavior infractions, larger infractions such as drug use or violence may call for student removal for the safety of themselves, other students, and staff.
Staff and student buy-in was a major theme in perceived barriers to the implementation of restorative justice (N=6). Respondents feel that a lot of teachers and staff, and particularly the one’s who have had careers in education for a long time, may struggle to change their habits and their discipline routines that they have already adjusted to. They believe that change is difficult, and that restorative approaches are less likely to be successful when staff or students are not fully committed. Lastly, themes include a lack of staff training (N=6) and a lack of expertise in what to do if there is no behavior change after the repeated use of restorative methods (N=4). Additional Perspectives
Further theme analysis of final item survey comments reveals that educators and staff believe that there should be a balance between restorative justice and punitive discipline in schools (N=5). One respondent replied, “punitive discipline has its place, but is greatly overutilized currently. Banning any form of punitive discipline will tie the hands of schools, their staff, and students to bear the weight of the offense. Schools with aggressive students may see an increase in physical restraints, which can be traumatic. In addition, participants in formal conferences must be willing—if there is no indication that all participants are willing then the conferences lose their power to restore relationships. I also do not believe restorative practices can be used when there is risk of re-victimization, most commonly in cases of severe bullying or


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sexual assault.”
Though some of the respondents believe that restorative approaches in school discipline is necessary for the healthy formation of problem solving, relationships, and life skills (N=3), others feel that it is not a realistic method of preparing students for “real-life” (N=4).


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CHAPTER V DISCUSSION
Summary of Findings
Results of this study suggest that most educators and school staff (early childhood elementary through high school teachers, as well as special service providers, paraprofessionals, and elementary school administrators) have heard of the term ‘restorative justice’ as it applies to school discipline models. Though most educators and school staff do not feel that they have extensive knowledge of restorative justice, they have a fair amount of knowledge in how it is implemented and the theories behind it. Interestingly, the more years of experience a person has working in education, the less knowledge they report having of restorative justice.
The average person who works in education somewhat agrees that restorative justice models should replace punitive discipline. However, the number of years of experience a person has in education, their educational job setting, and their job role in education do not influence the level to which they agree that restorative justice should replace punitive discipline. Similarly, whether an educator works in special education, a school with over 60% free and reduced lunch, and a culturally and linguistically diverse school have no influence on how they rated their level of agreement.
Though a small portion of educators indicate that they do not use any restorative approaches in the classroom or at their school, more than half report the use of restorative methods such as conferencing, teaching and guiding peer mediation skills, and whole-class circles to discuss problems, process scenarios, and to restore connections and relationships. Additional discipline methods employed by a significant amount of educators include visually posted behavior expectations, verbal reminders, a Positive Behavior Support System (PBIS) with built-in rewards and consequences, and a token economy with emphasis on positive praise and


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rewards for desired behavior. There is also heavy use of exclusionary discipline and prescribed consequences for specific behavioral infractions, as reported by over half of the educators and school staff surveyed. Examples of prescribed consequences include a call home to parents, missing recess or specials classes, sending students to the principal’s office, after-school detention, and suspensions.
According to the self-report of educators and school staff, the biggest perceived barrier to implementing restorative justice in the school setting is time. Teachers and administrators find themselves too busy during the school day with things like high stakes testing, meetings, lesson planning, and more, that they do not feel they have the time to implement restorative justice methods with fidelity. Many teachers described that it is much easier, faster, and sometimes better for the other student’s learning time to send a child who is misbehaving to the office or to utilize a quick prescribed consequence than to sit down with a student to have a restorative conference or peer mediation.
Staff shortages and high turnover rates are another barrier to the implementation of restorative justice in schools. Educators believe that in order to truly implement these techniques, it takes additional staff members who can guide conferences and train students how to use steps in peer mediation. Some educators expressed that their school had staff who was trained and provided these services, but due to high turnover rates, the culture of restorative justice was discontinued. Along the same lines, there are logistical concerns in several schools, such as a lack of private space for restorative conferencing and not being able to locate or pull away designated staff from their teaching duties at the time they are needed.
There are several barriers in staff and student buy-in to restorative justice. Educators and school staff perceive and predict that many teachers and administrators may struggle to change their habits and their discipline routines that they have already adjusted to in order to fit a


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restorative model. They believe that change is difficult, and that restorative approaches are less likely to be successful when staff or students are not fully committed. A lack of training available adds to this barrier, as a popular belief is that many school staff are not knowledgeable enough regarding restorative practices in order to be successful in changing student behavior with these methods.
Though most educators and school staff agree with the use of restorative justice in schools, they also believe that there should be a balance between restorative justice and punitive discipline. Several survey respondents feel that though restorative justice may be appropriate for smaller behavior infractions, larger infractions such as drug use or violence may call for student removal for the safety of themselves, other students, and staff. In addition, a small number of educators believe that though restorative justice is useful in teaching students relational problem solving skills, they also believe that it does not fully prepare students to enter the “real-world” after they graduate from school. One survey respondent explained that they feel that society is largely punitive in nature, and when we make big mistakes or behave poorly out in the community, we are punished with jail time or tickets.
Implications
In connection with the empirical review, these findings serve as an implication that schools may benefit from new educational policies that support additional resources and funding, in that the lack thereof provides a great barrier to successful implementation of restorative justice. Such additional resources identified in this study include funding for staff trainings, additional school staff members who serve as designated restorative justice professionals, and the addition of rooms or office spaces for restorative conferencing.
Limitations
Though this study provides meaningful and valid information about why restorative


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justice in schools is not currently being implemented in full, from the educator’s perspective, there are several limitations that should be noted. The first is that the modality of which the survey was distributed may have led to an unreliable sampling of participants. In order to protect the privacy of the respondents, participant identification was not required. Therefore, the researcher could not verify the accuracy of the demographics of the respondents. Another limitation to the study is that the sample size was small and may not reflect the larger population’s practices, feelings, and beliefs. Further research is needed to validate the results of the study, and should be completed within several school districts across the country and within various geographical, cultural, and socio-economic settings.


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Christie, C., Nelson, C. M., & Jolivette, K. (2004). School characteristics related to the use of suspension. Education and Treatment of Children, 27, 509-526.
Cornell, D. G. (2006). School violence: Fears versus facts. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Cuellar, A. E., & Markowitz, S. (2015). School suspension and the school-to-prison pipeline. International Review of Law and Economics, 43, 98-106. doi: 10.1016/j .irle.2015.06.001.
Gastic, B. (2017). Disproportionality in school discipline in massachusetts. Education and Urban Society, 49(2), 163-179. doi: 10.1177/0013124516630594.
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and power battles within the restorative justice movement. Criminology & Criminal Justice, 8(2), 165-183.
Gelsthorpe, L. & Morris, A. (2000) A comment on the prospectus for restorative
justice under the crime and disorder act 1998. Criminal Law Review, 2008(5), 18-30.
Gonzalez, T. (2012). Keeping kids in schools: Restorative justice, punitive discipline, and the school to prison pipeline. The Journal of Law and Education, 41(2), 281-335.


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Gonzalez, R. J., Pagan, M., Wendell, L., Love, C. (2011). SupportingELL/culturally and linguistically diverse students for academic achievement. Rexford, New York: The International Center for Leadership in Education.
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Hamlin, J. B., & Darling, J. (2012) Use of peace-circles in large scale community conflict: A case study. Conflict Resolution Quarterly 29(4), 403-419.
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APPENDIX
Table 1.1
Qualitative Themes in Survey Open-Responses
Code/Chunk Number of times used
Classroom Discipline Methods Visual Expectations 8
Set Consequences 11
Verbal Reminders 7
Refocus Time-Out 4
Detention 3
Suspension 4
PBIS 15
Restorative Approaches 19
Token Economy 12
Behavior Plans 2
Barriers Time Constraints 7
Staff Shortage/Turnover 5
Logistics 3
Lack of Staff Buy-In and Staff Habits 5
Re-victimization 1
Lack of Student Buy-In 1
Immediate Safety 5
None 2
Lack of Training 6
No Behavior Change After Use 4
Misunderstanding of the System 3
Additional Perspectives Balance Needed between RJ and Punitive 5
Efficacy Issues 3
No Real-Life Application (society is punitive) 4
RJ is Crucial to Healthy Development 3
Home/School Imbalance 1
Sustainability Issues with Changing Staff and Resources 3
Time and Commitment From All Parties - Easier to Send a Child to the Office 6
Table 1.2
Quantitative Survey Data Codebook
Variable Names Label and Description Codes
Job Respondent’s current job role within education Elementary School Administrator = 1 ECE Teacher = 2 Elementary School Teacher = 3 Middle School Teacher = 4 High School Teacher = 5


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Para = 6 Special Service Provider = 7
YOE Years of experience in education 0 to 5 years = 1 5 to 10 years = 2 10 to 15 years = 3 More than 15 years = 4
Setting Current job setting within education Urban = 1 Suburban = 2 Rural = 3
SPED Does the respondent work within special education Special Education Staff = 1 Non-Special Education Staff = 0
FRL Does the respondent’s school have a student body that serves greater than 60% Free and Reduced Lunch participants Above 60% Free and Reduced = 1 Not Above 60% Free and Reduced = 0
CLD Does the respondent’s school have a large culturally and linguistically diverse population Culturally and Linguistically Diverse = 1 Not Culturally and Linguistically Diverse = 0
Figure 1.1
Survey Tool (Oualtrics)__________________________________________________________________
Start of Block: Default Question Block
INFORMED CONSENT FOR PARTICIPATION IN SURVEY RESEARCH My name is Hope Gournic, and I am a PsyD Candidate at the University of Colorado Denver’s School Psychology program. I am conducting research under the supervision of Bryn Harris, PhD., NCSP, LP. Please read the following information before proceeding with the survey.
Purpose
The purpose of this research study is to uncover the barriers and perceptions of educators in regards to the implementation of restorative practices as an alternative to exclusionary discipline. As available literature regarding the effectiveness of restorative justice in schools summarize positive effects on behavior and academic outcomes, data from this study will contribute to educational policy reform and attempt to give educators a voice in grounds for further resources. If published, the study will also fill gaps within existing literature regarding restorative justice in K-12 education.
What Participation Involves
Participation includes completion of a short 10 question survey. The survey should take you less than 20 minutes to complete. The survey includes clarifying questions about the setting of your school and your role within it, your current discipline practices within the classroom, and several short-answer questions about your knowledge, thoughts and perceptions of the implementation of restorative justice in schools. There is a short description of restorative justice included in section 2 of this survey.
Risks and Benefits
There are minimally foreseen risks involved in participation in this study. Compensation is not offered for your time and there are no known personal benefits gained from participation._


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Confidentiality
This survey is kept confidential, and your name will not be used in any report or publication. Any identifying information that could be traced back to you will be destroyed.
Voluntary Participation/Right to Withdraw
Your participation in this study is voluntary, and you have the right to discontinue the survey at any time. There will be no penalty or negative consequences if you decide to no longer participate in the study.
Contact Information for Questions or Concerns
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this survey, please contact me by email at hope.goumic@ucdenver.edu, or my supervisor, Dr. Harris at bryn.harris@ucdenver.edu.
Agreement
By clicking the ‘agree’ button below, you are indicating that you have read the consent form and voluntarily agree to participate in this study.
Q1 I have read the above information and give my informed consent to participate in this study: Agree (1)
Q2 Check each box that applies to indicate each role that you have served within an educational
setting.
â–¡ Early Childhood Education Administrator (1)
â–¡ Elementary Education Administrator (2)
â–¡ Secondary Level Administrator (3)
â–¡ Early Childhood Education Teacher (4)
â–¡ Elementary School Teacher (5)
â–¡ Middle School Teacher (6)
â–¡ High School Teacher (7)
â–¡ Substitute Teacher (8)


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Para (9)
â–¡ Special Service Provider (ie. School Psychologist, Speech Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, ect.) (10)
Q3 How many years of experience do you have in education?
0 to 5 years (1)
5 to 10 years (2)
10 to 15 years (3)
More than 15 years (4)
Q4 Please describe your current job setting by checking all boxes that apply.
Rural (1)
Urban (2)
Suburban (3)
Special Education (4)
Above 60% free and reduced lunch participation (6)
Culturally and linguistically diverse student body (7)
Q5 In a short paragraph, please describe your current classroom discipline practices.
End of Block: Default Question Block Start of Block: Block 1
â–¡
â–¡
â–¡
â–¡
â–¡
â–¡


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Q7 Please answer the following questions regarding your personal knowledge of restorative practices within schools.
(Restorative Justice is broadly defined as the practice of repairing relationships and harm caused within the school community using conferences, mediations, and structured talking circles (Gonzales, 2012; Suvall, 2009). A restorative style of discipline in schools utilizes all stakeholders (teachers, students, administrators, parents, community members, etc.) to build support for “victims and offenders, providing both with an opportunity to share their perspectives and to work together to reach a reparative solution” (Suvall, 2009, p. 547). Restorative practices in schools are generally implemented utilizing the following methods:
1) Peer Mediation: includes a small group of affected parties (usually 2 to 4) and a trained facilitator. Guided by a short, scripted process to encourage healing dialogue and informal resolution between all stakeholders.
2) Student-Led Accountability Boards: includes 5 to 6 appointed student board members and the offenders and victims. Stakeholders create an individualized case plan during the board meeting in which all members must agree upon and sign.
3) Conferencing: holds the same process and purpose of peer-mediation and boards, but differs in that it includes a larger group of participants (5 to 10), and may be longer in duration.
4) Circles: may be used to “improve classroom management techniques, guide conversations on difficult topics, and guide problem resolution” (Pavelka, 2013, p. 15). The circle encompasses those impacted by the occurrence, and relevant community members. )
For more information, please visit
https://www.sccgov.org/sites/pdo/ppw/SESAP/Documents/SCHOOL%20RJP%20GUIDEBOO OK.pdf
Q8 On a scale of 1 to 5, what is your level of knowledge regarding the practice of restorative justice in schools? (slide the bar)
1 2 3 4 5
(1 indicates you know nothing about it, and 5 indicates you have extensive knowledge ) (1)
Q9 Please indicate which restorative practices you utilize in your classroom or school by checking all boxes that apply.
â–¡
â–¡
â–¡
â–¡
Peer Mediation (1)
Student-Led Peer Accountability Boards (2)
Conferencing (3)
Whole-Class Circles (4)


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I do not use restorative practices in my classroom or school (5)
Other (6)
Q10 Slide the bar below to indicate how you feel about implementing restorative practices within schools as a complete replacement for punitive discipline such as suspension or expulsion.
0123456789 10
"0" indicates you do not agree with implementation, "10" indicates you fully agree with implementation (1)
Q11 In a short paragraph, please describe any of the barriers you experience or foresee in replacing punitive discipline with restorative justice.
Q12 Please provide any other information that may be necessary in understanding your perspective of the implementation of restorative justice practices in schools.
â–¡
â–¡


Full Text

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SCHOOL STAFF PERCEPTIONS AND BARRIERS TO IMPLEMENTATION OF RESTORATIVE JUSTICE by HOPE M ARIE GOURNIC B.A., University of Northern Colorado, 2009 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Psychology School Psychology Program 2018

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! "" ! This thesis for the Doctor of Psychology degree by Hope Marie Gournic has been approved for the School Psychology Program by Bryn Harris , Ch air Franci Crepeau Hobson Lisa Geisler Date: May 12 , 2018

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! """ ! Gournic , Hope Marie (PsyD, School Psychology ) School Staff Perceptions and Barriers to Implementation of Restorative Justice Thesis directed by Associate Professor Bryn Harris ABSTRACT In response to documented negative life outcomes for students due to zero tolerance discipline policies in schools, the American Psychological Ass ociation (2008) has identified restorative j ustice as an alternative discipline method for school systems (Ameri can Psychological Association Zero Tolerance Task Force, 2008; Christle, Nelson, & Jolivette, 2004; Martinez, 2009, Sughrue, 2003) . This study attempts to uncover the perspectives of teachers and school staff, as well as the perceived barriers to the imple mentation of restorative justice in schools. Thirty three people consisting of Early Elementary through High School Teachers, Administration, Paraprofessionals, and Special Service Providers were surveyed . Results were analyzed using descriptive statistic s, factorial ANOVA, and qualitative chunking methods. Results of this study suggest that t he majority of people who work in education somewhat agree that restorative justice models shou ld replace punitive discipline, but that there should be a balance betw een exclusionary dis cipline and restorative methods. According to teachers and school staff, t he biggest perceived barrier to implementing restorative justice in the school setting is time constraints, followed by s taff shortages and high turnover rates . A long the same lines, there are logistical concerns in several schools, such as a lack of private spa ce for restorative conferencing, and a lack of staff and stude nt buy in and training. The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its p ublication. Approved: Bryn Harris

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! "# ! TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION ............ ....................... ............................................................ ...... ........ .. 1 II. LITERATURE REVIEWÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ É ... 3 III. METHODÉÉ ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ ÉÉ.. ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ... ..... 11 IV. RESULTSÉÉ É ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ.. ÉÉÉÉÉÉ... ..... 14 V. DISCUSSION ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ. ÉÉÉÉÉÉ É... 24 REFERENCES ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ.. 28 APPENDIX É ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ 31

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! $ ! CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Discipline in education ha s long been a topic of ethical questioning and cultural conflict. Educators are faced with the challenge of finding a balance between supporting students who demonstrate behavioral difficulties, and protecting the students who's learning may be interrupte d by these behaviors. Federal mandates in the United States have been implemented as an effort to reduce school violence. H owever, varied translation of these mandates has influenced disproportional ity and inappropriate removal of student s of color ( Americ an Psychological Association Zero Tolerance Task Force, 2008; Christle, Nelson, & Jolivette, 2004; Martinez, 2009, Sughrue, 2003) . State statutes have influenced zero tolerance policies in which schools prescribe susp ension and expulsion as punishment fo r specific student behaviors such as bringing weapons to school, physical fights, verbal aggression, bringing tobacco and alcohol to school , etc. The American Psychological Association (2008) has suggested a need for alternative approaches to school discip line in response to the extensive research that has demonstrated the damaging impacts of zero tolerance policies. One such approach that has been ide ntified is restorative justice, a process in which offenders are held accountable for their behavior, the h arm that occurred is repaired, and support is provided for the offender "to encourage reintegration into the community" (Suvall, 2009, P. 558). It is clear that the available literature regarding the effectiveness of restorative justice in schools summar ize positive effects on behavior and academic outcomes. It is also clear that punitive and exclusionary discipline lead to negative outcomes in academics and incre ases in law breaking behaviors. However, many schools have historically employed the use of p unitive discipline, and continue to do so even when presented with current research (Cornell, 2006 ;

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! % ! Mallett, 2016). Educators are overwhelmed wit h various initiatives, and changing the culture of an entire school is no easy undertaking. It is imperative to examine the areas of resistance in implementing restorative justice practices so that educators are given the appropriate supports throughout the process of change, and so national and schoo l level policies may be altered in efforts to alleviate racial di sproportionality and increase positive academic outcomes for students.

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! & ! CHAPTER II LITERATURE REVIEW Restorative Justice Restorative Justice is broadly defined as the practice of repairing relationships and harm caused within the school c ommunity using conferences, mediations, and structured talking circles (Gonzales, 2012; Suvall, 2009). The restorative process, particularly in the form of passing a talking piece around a circle as a form of structured communication, has been traced back to multiple indigenous communities across the world. Communities including but not limited to Native American tribes, the Maori people of New Zealand, ancient Celtic practices, and Aboriginal Australians (Hamlin & Darling, 2012). A restorative style of dis cipline in schools utilizes all stakeholders (teachers, students, administrators, parents, community members, etc.) to build support for "victims and offenders, providing both with an opportunity to share their perspectives and to work together to reach a reparative solution" (Suvall, 2009, p. 547). According to Pavelka (2013) , there are typically four models from which school based restorative justice i s focused; peer mediation, peer/ accountability boards, conferencing, and circles. Peer mediation includ es a small group of affected parties (usually 2 to 4) and a trained facilitator, and utilizes a short, scripted process to encourage healing dialogue and informal resolution between all stakeholders. Peer/accountability boards include 5 to 6 appointed stud ent board members and the offenders and victims. Stakeholders create an individualized case plan during the board meeting in which all members must agree upon and sign. Case plans might include community service, letters of apology, mentoring, counseling, or tutoring. Conferencing holds the same process and purpose of peer mediation and boards, but differs in that it includes a larger group of participants (5 to 10) , and may be longer in duration . Circles may be used to "improve classroom management techniq ues, guide conversations on difficult topics, and

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! ' ! guide problem resolution" (Pavelka, 2013, p. 15). The circle encompasses those impacted by the occurance, and relevant community members. McCluskey et al. (2008) defines Ôrelational inquiry' as the primary focus of restorative conferencing . The inquiry process runs according to the objectives of understanding who has been hurt, what happened (from all stakeholder's perspectives), and communication and agreement between the victim and the offender in what ca n be done to repair the harm. According to the United Nations, the modes in which restorative justice may be achieved may include "restitution of property, restitution to the victim by the offender, reparationsÉ" (United Nations, 2003, P.28). A lo o se scrip t is presented by McCluskey et al. (2008) in which a restorative conference leader may use to achieve a successful inquiry procedure: • What happened? • What were you thinking at the time? • What have you thought about since? • Who has been impacted by what you d id? • In what ways? • What do you think you need to do to make things right? Kuo, Longmire, & Cuvelier (2010) identify three key components of restorative justice: dialogue, building relationships, and communication of moral values. Research shows that when vi ctims and offenders are given equal dialogue and comfort in speaking openly, dialogue alone can act as a healing process for victims and repentance for offenders ( Webb, 2007 ; Zarp & Breslin, 2001 ). Relationship building and a sense of social belonging in t he school setting has been found to have a strong impact on academic success (Anderman, 2003; Battistich, V., Solomon, D., Kim, D., Watson, M., & Schaps, E., 1995). Therefore school rule breaking behaviors may harm not only the offender, but the other memb ers of the school community as

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! ( ! well ( Zarp & Breslin, 2001). Thus, Zarp & Breslin (2001) recommend a focus on relational rehabilitation in order to fully meet the "needs of both the victim and the offender as well as the needs of the community to sustain a safe learning culture" (p. 252). Additionally, a school's purpose is to educate it's students and to shape successful members of the community. This includes teaching appropriate social behaviors and communication of moral values. Braithwaite (1999) sugges ts that communicating or teaching moral values is essential in avoiding offender recidivism. Exclusionary Discipline In contrast to restorative justice , punitive discipline in schools, such as office referrals, suspensions and expulsions focus largely on assigning specific punishments for rule breaking behaviors. That is, school leaders do things to or for the offender, rather than working with them to teach problem solving strategies. Many schools have a tendency to rely heavily on exclusionary discipline in order to "preserve order and safety by removing students who break school rules and disrupt the school learning environment" (Gregory, Skiba, & Noguera, 2010, p. 59). These forms of exclusionary practices have been employed in schools for decades, and have been further emphasized by zero tolerance policies in the United States in response to an increase in school shootings and the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 (Morrison & Vaandering, 2012). The implementation of exclusionary discipline in sch ools has been historicall y influenced by educational law and federal funds, which are contingent on the implementation of zero tolerance laws. The Gun Fre e Schools Act of 1994 (GFSA) requires schools to adopt state law s requiring expulsion for a period of at least one year for students who have brought a weapon to school, and to refer said student to the juvenile delinquent system ( U.S. Department of Education Gun Free Schools Act of 1994, 2004 ). Sughrue (2003) found that the transition from federal

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! ) ! mandate of zero tolerance policies to state statute has resulted in both positive and negative consequences. Specifically, there has been an ongoing trend of state education departments moving towards more exclusionary practices in response to offenses and behavi ors not identified in the GFSA. Sughrue (2003) suggests that schools have implemented policies that require automatic suspension and expulsion for "ordinary schoolyard fights, verbal abuse, possession of tobacco or alcohol, and even chronic tardiness" (p. 241). However, evidence indicates that exclusionary and punitive discipline is largely ineffective and may have damaging impacts on student achievement and school climate (American Psychological Association Zero Tolerance Task Force, 2008; Christle, Nelso n, & Jolivette, 2004; Martinez, 2009). Furthermore, Morrison and Vaandering (2012) explain that little is understood about the root causes of harmful behaviors and their effects when prescribed levels of punishment are employed in response to the harmful b ehaviors. In other words, students and school staff are unlikely to learn and grow from behavioral incidents when students are simply removed from the environment without any follow up. Disproportionality A major criticism of punitive and exclusionary disc ipline practices is the presence of disproportionality. Previous studies uncover overrepresentation of students of color in out of school suspensions and zero tolerance related expulsions ( Rocque, 2010 ; Eitle & Eitle, 2004 ; Skiba et al. , 2014 ; Mizel et al. , 2016 ). Skiba et al. (2014) suggests that when behavioral variables are held constant, race and gender significantly predict more severe disciplinary outcomes and the likelihood of out of school sus pensions. Similarly, a study by Gastic (2017) reports "di fferences in students' behavior do not fully explain the disproportionate likelihood that Black students are disciplined" (p. 172).

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! * ! There is further evidence that disproportionalities within discipline practices have contributed to academic underperforma nce in Black, Latino, and Native American students (Gregory, Skiba, & Noguero, 2010). When students are excluded from their school environment and experience severe punishment by school faculty, it is more likely that they will experience distrust and fee lings of not belonging within their school. " Students who are less bonded to school may be more likely to turn to law breaking activities and become less likely to experie nce academic success " ( Gregory, Skiba, & Noguero, 2010 p. 60 ). Also known as the Ôscho ol to prison pipeline,' school suspensions of students of color may double the probably of future arrest s, and increase criminal offending behavior (Cuellar & Markowitz, 2015). Implementation and Effects of Restorative Justice When comparing restorative ju stice strategies to punitive discipline practices in schools, research has shown that restorative justice is more effective in reducing re offenses in misbehavior, and in turn strengthening the school climate (Bernard, 2014; Hayes & Daly, 2003; Latimer et al., 2005; Gelsthorpe & Morris, 2000). A recent study by Payne & Welch (2015) describes that it is crucial for schools to switch from a punitive discipline system to a restorative system in order to increase student success and support a more inclusive sch ool environment, specifically for our more diverse student populations. Not only does a restorative system prevent students from missing valuable education time, it also gives students the opportunity to learn problem solving skills and build stronger rela tionships. While research regarding restorative justice as an effective way to reduce student behavior problems is promising, many schools nevertheless rely on punitive and exclusionary discipline. Taking on a school wide behavior initiative that requir es a total shift in culture and values is no small task. Moving from punitive discipline to restorative practices "requires a different mindset on the part of educators and makers of educational policy. Its implementation

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! + ! requires a cultural shift in the w ay in which providers of education perceive themselves and are perceived by others." (Varnham, 2005, p. 99) Educators must essentially shift from a positio n of power over students, to acting as an equal participant in the problem solving process. According to current literature, behavior management in schools tends to be authoritative and hierarchical, a power separation of teachers vs. students. According to Varnham (2005), a change in this culture of the school may be achieved gradually, by developing pol icies at the national and school level, followed by extensive staff training. A study by McCluskey et al. (2008) examined staff and pupil response to a restorative justice pilot program in Scotland. Eighteen schools were studied regarding the effects of the implementation of restorative justice practices after a two year period. The researchers collected data from ten secondary schools, seven primary schools, and one school for students with moderate learning disabilities. The study compared data collecte d from group and individual interviews with school staff, students, and the families of the students. The researchers also conducted a student and staff survey, a review of records and policies, and observations of meetings, activities, and lessons. It was found that many school staff, particularly in secondary schools, found it very difficult to reconcile their current behavior management or discipline policies with restorative practices. Though the educators were eager to see how restorative justice could support their work with their students, they were unsure about its use in more serious behavioral infractions. A staff survey also indicated that most staff felt that punishment was sometimes necessary. Findings such as those above highlight a noteworth y argument by Gavrielides (2008). Gavrielides suggested that though there is a body of literature that discusses the applicable nature of restorative justice, there is a significant amount of confusion that exists within the restorative movement. Through a review of literature, Gavrielides identifies six existing conflicts or fault

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! , ! lines that currently exist within the restorative justice movement. Four of the identified fault lines lie within differing notions of where restorative justice belongs; integrat ed within the current system, or a total replacement of the current system. As the study by McCluskey et al. (2008) uncovered, school staff found it difficult to conceptualize where punishment fit within the scenario, and where to abandon all punishments. Building on this point, the authors concluded that there is a conflict in definitions of restorative justice. Most view it as a decision making process, while others feel that this view ignores restorative outcomes (such as community service, compensation, etc.) and is therefore incomplete. The effects of restorative practices largely depend on the institution's adopted definition of restorative justice. Anfara, Evans, and Lester (2013) described several challenges in adopting restorative practices in the educational setting. The adoption of these practices in schools has been slow, primarily due to the amount of time and resources that it requires. Such a change in school climate may take three to five years to fully implement, and the process may seem mu ch more time consuming and more difficult to apply than punitive strategies. Additionally, restorative justice in schools currently lacks conceptual clarity and that clashing philosophies are found to be a significant obstacle (Anfara et al., 2013). Rese arch suggests that restorative justice has the most impact when school staff is prepared to review their own values and reflect on their daily interactions (McCluskey et al., 2008; Morrison et al., 2006). McCluskey et al. (2008) found that restorative just ice appeared "most effective when behaviour was seen as an issue to be addressed through restorative strategies that involved active learning for all children and for staff across the school" (p. 415). This outlook was more prevalent in teachers when the s chool management team modeled commitment and enthusiasm for the initiative, and where administration had invested in significant professional development training on the topic. Where these factors were present,

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! $! there was a significant positive impact on re lationships and a reduction of discipline referrals, playground incidents, and a need for external support. There is an apparent gap in the literature regarding the resistance experienced by school staff when presented with alternative discipline initiat ives. This study aims to answer the fol lowing research questions: (1) W hat are the perceptions and opinions of school staff regarding the use of resto rative justice in schools? (2) W hat are the perceived barriers of school staff and educators in regards to the implementation of restorative practices as an alternative to exclusionary discipline? (3) I s there a relationship between school staff job role, job setting, and years of experience in education in regards to reported level of knowledge about restorat ive justice, as well as level of agreement that restorative justice should replace punitive discipline ? (4) I s there a relationship between special education job status, culturally and linguistically diverse school status, and above 60% Free and Reduced Lu nch participation status in regards to reported level of knowledge about restorative justice, as well as level of agreement that restorative justice should replace punitive discipline?

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! $$ ! CHAPTER III METHODS Setting The study was conducted at a la rge Colorado school district consisting of approximately 200 schools and 100,000 students. The district encompasses urban and suburban settings, with a broad range of students from various socio economic and cultural back g rounds. Participants In efforts to explore the perceptions and barriers which educators encounter in public schools, p articipants were chosen via conve nience and random sampling . The researcher selected 5 different schools (2 elementary, 1 middle school, 2 high schools) within the same d istrict in which they had current or previous employment with. It was requested that t he administration of the schools send out an email with a link to a survey to all teachers and special service providers (School Psychologists, Speech Language Pathologis ts, Occupational Therapists, Gifted and Talented teachers, Paras, Substitutes, etc.). Administrators were also asked to complete the survey. There was no identifying information included with the surveys, and all responses were considered anonymous. Consid ering the survey was administered solely in English, only participants who spoke English were included in the sample. Measures The research instrument was administered to participants via an anonymous online Qualtrics survey . An online survey was chosen because of the low cost and the accessible nature of sending the survey link out to a large net of online participants. The Qualtrics survey allowed participants to click on the survey link through their email , fill it out, and submit the information withi n a short amount of time.

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! $% ! The survey instrument was constructed by the researcher using the literature r eview as a foundation, as no adaptable surveys were found within the literature that aimed at answering the research questions. The survey consisted o f 10 questions. Three of the questions were closed ended, multiple choice responses. Key concepts su ch as participant school settings and demographics were assessed with these questions. To gain more information about cultural disproportionality in student discipline, participants were asked to report whether or not their job role was within a school that was considered Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD). According to the US Department of Education, CLD is a term that defines schools that serve ove r 40% of students who are ethnic minorities, either non English proficient or limi ted English proficient, or live in homes where the primary language of communication is not English (Gonzalez, Pagan, Wendell, & Love, 2011) . An open ended question allowed participants to describe their current discipline methods , and a Likert Scale of 1 to 5 indicated the participant's level of experience and knowledge of restorative justice . A multiple selection list gathered information about which methods of restorative justice the participant has utilized in their classroom or school, and an additional Likert Scale of 1 to 10 captured how strongly the participants agreed with replacing punitive discipline with restorative justice. Lastly, the final two question s were op en ended; allowing participants to expand on previous answers and to describe any barriers they have experience d or foresee in implementing restorative justice in their schools (see survey tool in appendix). The pros to using forced answer questions were that participants were not left to try and think of their own answers, which may lead to a great level of fatigue and more time to complete the survey. These questions were also chosen as a way to streamline the analysis process, and to find themes within answers that are more readily comparable. The cons to using so many forced answer questions are that participants are not able to devise as many individual, organic answers

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! $& ! to their thoughts on implementing restorative justice . Threats to validity may aris e, as participants may feel forced to answer a certain way. However, the survey questions were devised considering current literature that support the multiple selection list options. This increased reliability, and the likelihood of yielding results that aligns with current literature. The inclusion of open ended question s allowed for participants to add anything else that they felt the forced answer questions did not touch on. The multiple formats in which key concepts were measured allowed for comprehens ive content that is grounded in theory, and therefore contributed to a strong measurement validity and reliability. Additionally, the survey was pre tested for face validity by 3 peers before being administered to the sample. Analysis Procedure Statistica l analysis of results included percentages and frequencies for nominal data. Descriptive statistics and m easures of central tendency were calculated for ordinal data to provide mean, median, and mode. Factorial ANOVA was utilized to find if the level of kn owledge regarding restorative justice, as well as the level of agreement that restorative justice should replace punitive discipline is significantly different depending on job role, job setting, and yea rs of experience. Similarly, F actorial ANOVA was calc ulated to find if the level of knowledge regarding restorative justice, as well as the level of agreement that restorative justice should replace punitive discipline is significantly different depending on if the participant worked within Special Education , a school with over 60% Free and Reduced Lunch participation, and schools that are considered Culturally and Linguistically Diverse. Lastly, chunking methods were used to analyze all open ended , qualitative responses.

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! $' ! CHAPTER IV RESULTS Respondent Demo graphics The survey was distributed across a sample of 236 educators and school staff, of which 203 either did not respond, or did not meet the criteria for the study (did not give informed consent before filling out the survey or did not complete the surv ey in full). The fin al survey responses included 33 total participants. The sample consisted of 14 elementary school teachers (42.2%) , 7 special service providers (21.2%) , 5 high school teachers (15.2%) , 2 elementary school administrators (6.1%) , 2 early c hildhood educators (6.1%) , 2 paraprofessionals (6.1%) , and 1 middle school teacher (3%) (see Table 1). Of the 33 participants, years of experience in education were positively skewed. Most participants (N= 16 ; 48.5%) indicated that they had 0 to 5 years of experience in education , five had 5 to 10 years of experience (15.2%) , five had 10 to 15 years of experience (15.2%) , and 7 had more than 15 years of experience (21.2%) . The following tables describe the profile of the survey respondents. The participants were evenly distributed between Urban (N=17; 51.5%) and Suburban (N=16, 48.5%) school settings, with none of them being from a Rural setting. Eight of the participants reported that they work within Special Education (24.2%), fifteen work at schools which are considered Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (45.5%), and fifteen work at schools in which more than 60% of the student body participates in the Free and Reduced Lunch Program (45.5%).

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! $( ! Table 1 Percentages and Frequenc ies of Job R ole Variable % N Elementary School Administration 6.1 2 Early Childhood Elementary Teacher 6.1 2 Elementary Teacher 42.4 14 Middle School Teacher 3 1 High School Teacher 15.2 5 Paraprofessional 6.1 2 Special Service Provider 21.2 7 Table 2 Percentages and Frequencies of Years of E xper ience Variable % N 0 to 5 Years 48.5 16 5 to 10 Years 15.2 5 10 to 15 Years 15.2 5 More than 15 Years 21.2 7 Table 3 Percentages and Frequencies of Sc hool S etting Variable % N Urban 51.5 17 Suburban 48.5 16 Rural 0 0 Culturally and Linguistically Diverse 45.5 15 Above 60% Free and Reduced Lunch Participation 45.5 15 Special Education 24.2 8 Level of Knowledge Regarding Restorative Justice The majority of the survey participants rated their knowledge base of restorative justice on a scale of 1 to 5 as a "3," or "fair" (Ran ge=3 ). All had at least heard of restorative justice, as the lowest rating was a "2." Only one participant rated their knowle dge as "extensive," or a "5." The following table reports descriptive statistics for survey participant level of knowledge regarding restorative justice in schools.

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! $) ! Table 4 Descriptives for Level of K nowledge Measure Value M ean 3.55 Standard Error 0.13 Median 4 Mode 3 Standard Deviation 0.74 Sample Variance 0.57 Kurtosis 0.19 Skewness 0.07 Range 3 Minimum 2 Maximum 5 Sum 117 Count 33 Level of Agreement with Restorative Justice According to participant ratings on a scale of 1 to 10 , most of the sample somewhat agree s that punitive discipline should be replaced by restorative justice (Mean=7.82, Median=8, Mode=8) . However, level of a greement is negatively skewed (skew= 1.51) and had the most variability in answe rs (s 2 = 3.59). Only one participant gave a rating of "1," indicating they completely disagreed with restorative justice replacing punitive discipline. Six participants indicated that they completely agree with replacing punitive discipline with restorativ e justice, giving the question a rating of "10." The following table describes the descriptive statistics for the participant responses regarding level of agreement with the statement that "restorative justice should replace punitive discipline."

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! $* ! Table 5 Descriptives for Level of A greement Measure Value Mean 7.82 Standard Error 0.33 Median 8 Mode 8 Standard Deviation 1.89 Sample Variance 3.59 Kurtosis 3.93 Skewness 1.51 Range 9 Minimum 1 Maximum 10 Sum 258 Coun t 33 Relationships Between Demographics, Knowledge and Agreement A 7 x 3 x 4 factorial ANOVA was computed to investigate the relationship between job role (Elementary School Administrator, Early Elementary School Teacher, Elementary School Teacher, Midd le School Teacher, High School Teacher, Paraprofessional, and Special Service Provider) job setting (Urban, Suburban, Rural), years of experience (0 to 5 years, 5 to 10 years, 10 to 15 years, over 15 years) and level of knowledge regarding restorative just ice. Assumptions were checked and met . A significant interaction was found between the effects of Years of Experience on Level of Knowledge, F(3, 13) = 6.508, p =.001, partial ! 2 = .586 . Table 6 presents the results of the ANOVA. Simple effects analyses revealed that participants who have 0 to 10 years of experience feel that they have a higher level of knowledge regarding restorative justice than those with 10 to 15 years of ex perience, and those with more than 15 years of experience feel they have the least knowledge regarding restorative justice (d=1.422) . Simple effects for other comparisons were not significant, indicating that job role and job setting do not influence level of knowledge ratings.

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! $+ ! Table 6 Two way Analysis of Variance for Level of Knowledge as a F unction of Job Role, Job Setting, and Years of E xperience Variable and Source df MS F ! 2 Role Setting Years of Experience Role*Setting*Years of Experience Error 6 1 3 3 13 .167 .000 2.436 2.439 .397 .419 .000 6.129 ** 6.508 .162 .000 .586 .000 **p=.001 A 2 x 2 x 2 factorial ANOVA was computed to investigate the relationship between Spec ial Education Status (SPED, Non SPED), Free and Reduced Lunch Status (FRL, Non FRL), Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Status (CLD, Non CLD) and level of knowledge regarding restorative justice. Assumptions were checked and met. There were no significa nt interactions found, indicating that whether or not the participants work in special education, a school with above 60% Free and Reduced Lunch, and a culturally and linguistically diverse school do not influence level of knowledge ratings. Table 7 descri bes the results of the ANOVA. Table 7 Two way Analysis of Variance for Level of Knowledge as a Function of Special Education Status, Free and Reduced Lunch Status, and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Status Variable and Source df MS F ! 2 SPED FRL CL D SPED * FRL * CLD Error 1 1 1 0 25 .167 .013 .455 .052 .559 .299 .023 .814 .682 .012 .001 .032 .000 **p=.001 A 7 x 3 x 4 factorial ANOVA was computed to investigate the relationship between job role (Elementary School Administrator, Early Elementary School Teacher, Elementary School Teacher, Middle School Teacher, High School Teacher, Paraprofessional, and Special Service Provider) job setting (Urban, Suburban, Rural), years of experience (0 to 5 years, 5 to 10 years, 10 to 15 years, over 15 years) and leve l of agreement that restorative justice should replace punitive discipline . Assumptions were checked and met. There were no significant interactions

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! $, ! found, indicating that job role, job setting, and years of experience do not influence level of agreement r atings. Table 8 describes the results of the ANOVA. Table 8 Two way Analysis of Variance for Level of Agreement as a Function of Job Role, Job Setting, and Years of Experience Variable and Source df MS F ! 2 Role Setting Years of Experience Role*Setting*Years of Experience Error 6 1 3 0 13 4.509 10.906 1.184 2.439 2.962 1.522 3.682 .400 1.286 .413 .221 .084 .000 **p=.001 Finally, a 2 x 2 x 2 factorial ANOVA was computed to investigate the relationship b etween Special Education Status (SPED, Non SPED), Free and Reduced Lunch Status (FRL, Non FRL), Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Status (CLD, Non CLD) and level of agreement that restorative justice should replace punitive discipline. Assumptions were checked and met. There were no significant interactions found, indicating that special education status, free and reduced lunch status, and culturally and linguistically diverse status do not influence level of agreement ratings. Table 9 describes the res ults of the ANOVA. Table 9 Two way Analysis of Variance for Level of Agreement as a Function of Special Education Status, Free and Reduced Lunch Status, and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Status Variable and Source df MS F ! 2 SPED FRL CLD SPED*FRL* CLD Error 1 1 1 0 25 9.698 1.217 .078 .315 .167 2.413 .303 .020 .203 .088 .012 .001 .000 **p=.001 Use of Restorative Approaches Of the 33 survey respondents, 6 reported that they do not currently utilize any restorative justice methods in thei r classroo m or school. Of the 27 respondents that reported that they do utilize restorative justice methods, 21 use Conferencing, 20 guide their students through Peer

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! %! Mediation, 17 use Whole Class Circles, and only 1 indicated that they utilize Student Led Peer Acco untability Boards. Additionally, 6 respondents expressed that they use other types of methods that they would consider restorative in nature. The following chart describes the number of participants in relation to how they do or do not utilize restorative justice in their classrooms or schools. Chart 1 Restorative Justice Methods Utilized by Survey Participants Discipline Practices Major themes were found throughout the open ended survey questions regarding current discipline practices of the respondent s (see Appendix Table 1.1) . Teachers were asked to describe their current discipline practices in a short paragraph. A large number of respondents described that they try to focus largely on restorative approaches to discipline (N=19). Several res pondents described that they attempt to build relationships, open lines of communication, and respect as a culture of the classroom. These respondents believe that this practice decreases behavioral infractions in their classroom. Approximately half of the respon dents ( N=15) reported use of a Positive Behavior Support System (PBIS) which utilizes a color clip routine with built in rewards and consequences. Along the same lines, 12 respondents indicated that they employ a class wide -! (! $-! $(! %-! %(! ./0123204"05! 6223!728"9:"/0! ;.=9??! ."34=2?! 6223! @44/A0:9B"=":C! D/938?! E:<23! F!8/!0/:!A?2!GH! !"#$%&'()'*+&,-.-/+0,1' 2%1,(&+,-3%'4"1,-.%'5%,6(7'81%7'

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! %$ ! token economy and emphasize posi tive praise and rewards as a proactive method of discipline. Several participants (N=11) described the use of prescribed consequences for specific behavioral infractions such as a call home to parents, missing recess or specials classes , and sending studen ts to the principal's office. A quarter of the respondents utilize posted visual expectations (N=8) and verbal reminders (N=7) as part of their discipline system, and 2 described the use of behavior plans for students who do not respond to whole class me thods and repeated consequences. In addition to keeping students in their homeroom during recess or specials classes, e xclusionary discipline was reportedly employed by 11 respondents, stating that they seclude the student so that they can "re focus before re entering the classroom," give students after school detention, or refer them for in school or out of school suspension. Barriers to Restorative Justice Several major themes were discovered throughout survey participant responses to perceived barriers in the implementation of restorative justice in schools. Participants were asked to describe any barriers in which they have experienced or predict in implementing restorative justice. The most occurring theme s were the ba rriers of time constraints (N=7) , staff sh ortages and turnover (N=5), concern for the immediate safety of students and staff (N=5) , and logistical complications (N=3) such as no private spaces for conferencing and not being able to locate/pull away designated staff at the time they are n eeded . Three respondents believe that there is a high likelihood of staff misunderstanding the system and therefore do not use restorative justice correctly. Survey participants expressed that educators and school staff are generally extremely busy people , and that there is not enough time in the day to effectively commit to and implement restorative justice for each student who may need it. They also expressed that there is a need for

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! %% ! additional staff members to implement the more time consuming procedure s such as conferencing and training students how to lead peer accountability boards. Considering high teacher turnover and a lack of funds in some districts and schools, several respondents believe that restorative justice will not be successfully implemen ted. Moreover, several survey respondents feel that though restorative justice may be appropriate for smaller behavior infractions, larger infractions such as drug use or violence may call for student removal for the safety of themselves, other students, a nd staff. Staff and student buy in was a major theme in perceived barriers to the implementation of restorative justice (N=6). Respondents feel that a lot of teachers and staff, and particularly the one ' s who have had careers in education for a long time , may struggle to change their habits and their discipline routines that they have already adjusted to. They believe that change is difficult, and that restorative approaches are less likely to be successful when staff or students are not fully committed. Lastly, themes include a lack of staff training (N=6) and a lack of expertise in what to do if there is no behavior change after the repeated use of restorative methods (N=4) . Additional Perspectives Further theme analysis of final item survey comments r eveals that educators and staff believe that there should be a balance between restorative justice and punitive discipline in schools (N=5) . One respondent replied , " punitive discipline has its place, but is greatly over utilized currently. Banning any for m of punitive discipline will tie the hands of schools, their staff, and students to bear the weight of the offense. Schools with aggressive students may see an increase in physical restraints, which can be traumatic. In addition, participants in formal co nferences must be willing -if there is no indication that all participants are willing then the conferences lose their power to restore relationships. I also do not believe restorative practices can be used when there is risk of re victimization, most comm only in cases of severe bullying or

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! %& ! sexual assault." Though some of the respondents believe that restorative approaches in school discipline is necessary for the healthy formation of problem solving, relationships, and life skills (N=3), others feel that it is not a realistic method of preparing students for "real life" (N=4).

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! %' ! CHAPTER V DISCUSSION Summary of Findings Results of this study suggest that most educators and school staff (early childhood elementary through high school teachers, as well as s pecial service providers, paraprofessionals, and elementary school administrators) have heard of the term Ôrestorative justice' as it applies to school discipline models. Though most educators and school staff do not feel that they have extensive knowledge of restorative justice, they have a fair amount of know ledge in how it is implemented and the theories behind it. Interestingly, the more years of experience a person has working in education, the less knowledge they report having of restorative justice. T he average person who works in education somewhat agrees that restorative justice models should replace punitive discipline. However, the number of years of experience a person has in education, their educational job setting, and their job role in educ ation do not influence the level to which they agree that restorative justice should replace punitive discipline. Similarly, whether an educator works in special education, a school with over 60% free and reduced lunch, and a culturally and linguistically diverse school have no influence on how they rated their level of agreement. Though a small portion of educators indicate that they do not use any restorative approaches in the classroom or at their school, more than half report the use of restorative met hods such as conferencing, teaching and guiding peer mediation skills, and whole class circles to discuss problems, process scenarios, and to restore connections and relationships. Additio nal discipline methods employed by a significant amount of educators include visually posted behavior expectations, verbal reminders, a Positive Behavior Support System (PBIS) with built in rewards and consequences, and a token economy with emphasis on positive praise and

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! %( ! rewards for desired behavior. There is also heavy u se of exclusionary discipline and prescribed consequences for specific behavioral infractions , as reported by over half of the educators and school staff surveyed. Examples of prescribed consequences include a call home to parents, missing recess or specia ls classes , sending students to the principal's office , after school detention, and suspensions . According to the self report of educators and school staff, the biggest perceived barrier to implementing restorative justice in the school setting is time. Teachers and administrators find themselves too busy during the school day with things like high stakes testing, meetings, lesson planning, and more, that they do not feel they have the time to implement restorative justice methods with fidelity. Many teac hers described that it is much easier, faster, and sometimes better for the other student's learning time to send a child who is misbehaving to the office or to utilize a quick prescribed conseq uence than to sit down with a student to have a restorative co nference or peer mediation. S taff shortages and high turnover rates are another barrier to the implementation of restorative justice in schools. Educators believe that in order to truly implement these techniques, it takes additional staff members who ca n guide conferences and train students how to use steps in peer mediation. Some educators expressed that their school had staff who was trained and provided these services, but due to high turnover rates, the culture of restorative justice was discontinued . Along the same lines, there are logistical concerns in several schools, such as a lack of private space for restorative conferencing and not being able to locate or pull away designated staff from their teaching duties at the time they are needed. Ther e are several barriers in s taff and student buy in to restorative justice. Educators and school staff perceive and predict that many teachers and administrators may struggle to change their habits and their discipline routines that they have already adjust ed to in order to fit a

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! %) ! restorative model . They believe that change is difficult, and that restorative approaches are less likely to be successful when staff or students are not fully committed. A lack of training available adds to this barrier, as a popul ar belief is that many school staff are not knowledgeable enough regarding restorative practices in order to be successful in changing student behavior with these methods. Though most educ ators and school staff agree with the use of restorative justice in schools, they also believe that there should be a balance between restorative justice and punitive discipline. S everal survey respondents feel that though restorative justice may be appropriate for smaller behavior infractions, larger infractions such as drug use or violence may call for student removal for the safety of themselves, other students, and staff. In addition, a small number of educators believe that though restorative justice is useful in teaching students relational problem solving skills, th ey also believe that it does not fully prepare students to enter the "real world" after they graduate from school. One survey respondent explained that they feel that society is largely punitive in nature, and when we make big mistakes or behave poorly out in the community, we are punished with jail time or tickets. Implications In connection with the empirical review, these findings serve as an implication that schools may benefit from new educational policies that support additional resources and funding , in that the lack thereof provides a great barrier to successful implementation of restorative justice. Suc h additional resources identified in this study include funding for staff trainings, additional school staff members who serve as designated restora tive justice professionals , and the addition of rooms or office spaces for restorative conferencing. Limitations Though this study provides meaningful and valid information about why restorative

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! %* ! justice in schools is not currently being implemented in fu ll, from the educator's perspective, there are several limitations that should be noted. The first is that the modality of which the survey was distributed may have led to an unreliable sampling of participants. In order to protect the privacy of the respo ndents, participant identification was not required. Therefore, the researcher could not verify the accuracy of the demographics of the respondents. Another limitation to the study is that the sample size was small and may not reflect the larger population 's practices, feelings, and beliefs. Further research is needed to validate the results of the study, and should be completed within several school districts across the country and within various geographical, cultural, and socio economic settings.

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! %+ ! R EFERENCES American Psychological Association Zero Tolerance Task Force. (2008). Are zero tolerance policies effective in the schools?: An evidentiary review and recommendations. The American Psychologist, 63 (9), 852 862. Anderman, L. H. (2003). Acade mic and social perceptions as predictors of change in middle school students' sense of school belonging. The Journal of Experimental Education, 72 (1), 5 22. doi:10.1080/00220970309600877 Anfara, V. A., Evans, K. R., & Lester, J. N. (2013). Restorative justice in education: What we know so far. Middle School Journal, 44 (5), 57 63. Battistich, V., Solomon, D., Kim, D., Watson, M., & Schaps, E. (1995). Schools as communities, poverty levels of student populations, and students' attitudes, motives and performance: A multi level analysis. American Educational Research Journal, 32, 627 658 . Bernard, A. (2014). Restorative justice: An alternative response to juvenile delinquency in barbados. Journal of the Institute of Justice and International Studies, (14), 23. Braithwaite, J. (1999). Restorative justice: Assessing optimistic and pessimistic accounts. Crime and Justice, 25 , 1 127. doi:10.1086/449287 . Christle, C., Nelson, C. M., & Jolivette, K. (2004). School characteristics related to the use of sus pension. Education and Treatment of Children, 27 , 509 Ð 526. Cornell, D. G. (2006). School violence: Fears versus facts . Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Cuellar, A. E., & Markowitz, S. (2015). School suspension and the school to prison pipeline. International Review of Law and Economics, 43 , 98 106. doi:10.1016/j.irle.2015.06.001 . Gastic, B. (2017). Disproportionality in school discipline in massachusetts. Education and Urban Society, 49 (2), 163 179. doi:10.1177/0013124516630594 . Gavrielides, T. (2008). Restorative justice the perplexing concept: Conceptual fault lines and power battles within the restorative justice movement. Criminology & Criminal Justice, 8 (2), 165 183. Gelsthorpe, L. & Morris, A. (2000) A comment on the prospectus for rest orative justice under the crime and disorder act 1998. Criminal Law Review , 2008(5), 18 30. Gonzalez, T. (2012). Keeping kids in schools: Restorative justice, punitive discipline, and the school to prison pipeline. The Journal of Law and Education, 4 1 (2), 281 335.

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! %, ! Gonzalez, R. J., Pagan, M., Wendell, L., Love, C. (2011). Supporting ELL/culturally and linguistically diverse students for academic achievement. Rexford, New York: The International Center for Leadership in Education. Gregory, A., Skiba , R. J., Noguera, P. A. (2010). The achievement gap and the discipline gap: Two sides of the same coin? Educational Researcher, 39, 59 Ð 68. Hamlin, J. B., & Darling, J. (2012) Use of peace circles in large scale community conflict: A case study. Conflic t Resolution Quarterly 29(4), 403 419 . Hayes, H., & Daly, K. (2003). Youth justice conferencing and re offending. Justice Quarterly , 20(4), 725 764. Eitle, T. M., & Eitle, D. J. (2004). Inequality, segregation, and the overrepresentation of african americ ans in school suspensions. Sociological Perspectives, 47 (3), 269 287. doi:10.1525/sop.2004.47.3.269 . Karp, D. R., & Breslin, B. (2001). Restorative justice in school communities. Youth & Society, 33 (2), 249 272. doi:10.1177/0044118X01033002006 . Kuo, S., Longmire, D., & Cuvelier, S. J. (2010). An empirical assessment of the process of restorative justice. Journal of Criminal Justice, 38 (3), 318 328. doi:10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2010.03.006 . Latimer, J., Dowden, C., & Muise, D. (2005). The effectiveness of restor ative justice practices: a meta analysis. The Prison Journal . 85(2), 127 144. Mallett, C. A. (2016). The school to prison pipeline: A critical review of the punitive paradigm shift. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 33 (1), 15 24. doi:10.1007/ s10560 015 0397 1 . McCluskey, G., Lloyd, G., Kane, J., Riddell, S., Stead, J., & Weedon, E. (2008). Can restorative practices in schools make a difference? Educational Review, 60 (4), 405 417. Mizel, M. L., Miles, J. N. V., Pedersen, E. R., Tucker, J. S ., Ewing, B. A., & D'Amico, E. J. (2016). To educate or to incarcerate: Factors in disproportionality in school discipline. Children and Youth Services Review, 70 , 102 111. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2016.09.009 . Morrison, B., Blood, P., & Thorsborne, M . (2005). Practicing restorative justice in school communities: Addressing the challenge of culture change. Public Organization Review, 5 (4), 335 357. Morrison, B. E., & Vaandering, D. (2012). Restorative justice: Pedagogy, pr axis, and discipline. Journal of School Violence, 11 (2), 138 155.

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! &! Payne, A. A., & Welch, K. (2015). Restorative justice in schools: The influence of race on restorative discipline. Youth & Society , 47(4), 539 Ð 564. Rocque, M. (2010). Office discipline and student behavior: Does race matter? American Journal of Education, 116 (4), 557 581. doi:10.1086/653629 . Skiba, R. J., Chung, C., Trachok, M., Baker, T. L., Sheya, A., & Hughes, R. L. (2014). Parsing disciplinary disproportionality: Contributions of infraction, student, and school characteristics to out of school suspension and expulsion. American Educational Research Journal, 51 (4), 640 670. doi:10.3102/0002831214541670 . Sughrue, J. A. (2003). Zero tolerance for children: Two wrongs do not make a right. Educational Administration Quarterly, 39 (2), 238 258. doi:10.1177/0013161X03251154 . Suvall, C. (2009). Restorative justice in schools: Learning from jena high school. Harvard Civil Rights Civil Liberties Law Review, 44 (2), 547 569. United Natio ns. (2003). Glossary of humanitarian terms. New York: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Policy Development and Studies Branch. United States Department of Education. Gun Free Schools Act of 1994, 4 U.S.C. ¤4141 (2004) Varnham, S. (20 05). Seeing things differently: Restorative justice and school discipline. Education and the Law, 17 (3), 87 104. Webb, P. (2007). The social and cultural dynamics of healing and justice in the united states:Dennis sullivan and larry tifft, restorative justice: Healing the foundations of our everyday lives, willow tree press, new york, 2005, 242 pp, ISBN: 1 881798 63 1 . Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands. doi:10.1007/s10612 007 9042 4

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! &$ ! A PPENDIX Table 1.1 Qualitative Themes in Survey Open R esponses Table 1.2 Quanti tative Survey Data Codebook Variable Names Label and Description Codes Job Respondent's current job role within education Elementary School Administrator = 1 ECE Teacher = 2 Elementary School Teacher = 3 Middle School Teacher = 4 High School Teacher = 5 Code/Chunk Number of times used Classroom Discipline Methods Visual Expectations Set Consequences Verbal Reminders Refocus Time Out Detention Suspension PBIS Restorative Approaches Token Economy Behavior Plans Barriers Time Con straints Staff Shortage /Tu rnover Logistics Lack of Staff Buy In and Staff Habits Re victimization Lack of Student Buy In Immediate Safety None Lack of Training No Behavior Change After U se Misunderstanding of the System Additional Perspectives Balance Needed between RJ and Punitiv e Efficacy Issues No Real Life Application (society is punitive) RJ is Crucial to Healthy Development Home/School Imbalance Sustainability Issues with Changing Staff and Resources Time and Commitment From All Parties Easier to Send a Child to the Office 8 11 7 4 3 4 15 19 12 2 7 5 3 5 1 1 5 2 6 4 3 5 3 4 3 1 3 6

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! &% ! Para = 6 Special Service Provider = 7 YOE Years of experience in education 0 to 5 years = 1 5 to 10 years = 2 10 to 15 years = 3 More than 15 years = 4 Setting Current job s etting within education Urban = 1 Suburban = 2 Rural = 3 SPED Does the respondent work within special education Special Education Staff = 1 Non Special Education Staff = 0 FRL Does the respondent's school have a student body that serves greater than 60% Free and Reduced Lunch participants Above 60% Free and Reduced = 1 Not Above 60% Free and Reduced = 0 CLD Does the respondent's school have a large culturally and linguistically diverse population Culturally and Linguistically Diverse = 1 Not Culturally a nd Linguistically Diverse = 0 Figure 1.1 Survey Tool ( Qualtrics ) Start of Block: Default Question Block INFORMED CONSENT FOR PARTICIPATION IN SURVEY RESEARCH My name is Hope Gournic, and I am a PsyD Candidate at the University of Colorado Denver's Scho ol Psychology program. I am conducting research under the supervision of Bryn Harris, PhD., NCSP, LP. Please read the following information before proceeding with the survey. Purpose The purpose of this research study is to uncover the barriers and per ceptions of educators in regards to the implementation of restorative practices as an alternative to exclusionary discipline. As available literature regarding the effectiveness of restorative justice in schools summarize positive effects on behavior and a cademic outcomes, data from this study will contribute to educational policy reform and attempt to give educators a voice in grounds for further resources. If published, the study will also fill gaps within existing literature regarding restorative justice in K 12 education. What Participation Involves Participation includes completion of a short 10 question survey. The survey should take you less than 20 minutes to complete. The survey includes clarifying questions about the setting of your school and your role within it, your current discipline practices within the classroom, and several short answer questions about your knowledge, thoughts and perceptions of the implementation of restorative justice in schools. There is a short description of restorat ive justice included in section 2 of this survey. Risks and Benefits There are minimally foreseen risks involved in participation in this study. Compensation is not offered for your time and there are no known personal benefits gained from participati on.

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! && ! Confidentiality This survey is kept confidential, and your name will not be used in any report or publication. Any identifying information that could be traced back to you will be destroyed. Voluntary Participation/Right to Withdraw Your parti cipation in this study is voluntary, and you have the right to discontinue the survey at any time. There will be no penalty or negative consequences if you decide to no longer participate in the study. Contact Information for Questions or Concerns If y ou have any questions or concerns regarding this survey, please contact me by email at hope.gournic@ucdenver.edu, or my supervisor, Dr. Harris at bryn.harris@ucdenver.edu. Agreement By clicking the Ôagree' button below, you are indicating that you hav e read the consent form and voluntarily agree to participate in this study. Q1 I have read the above information and give my informed consent to participate in this study: o Agree (1) Q2 Check each box that applies to indicate each role that you have s erved within an educational setting. ! Early Childhood Education Administrator (1) ! Elementary Education Administrator (2) ! Secondary Level Administrator (3) ! Early Childhood Education Teacher (4) ! Elementary School Teacher (5) ! Middle School Teacher ( 6) ! High School Teacher (7) ! Substitute Teacher (8)

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! &' ! ! Para (9) ! Special Service Provider (ie. School Psychologist, Speech Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, ect.) (10) Q3 How many years of experience do you have in education? o 0 to 5 yea rs (1) o 5 to 10 years (2) o 10 to 15 years (3) o More than 15 years (4) Q4 Please describe your current job setting by checking all boxes that apply. ! Rural (1) ! Urban (2) ! Suburban (3) ! Special Education (4) ! Above 60% free and reduced lunch partic ipation (6) ! Culturally and linguistically diverse student body (7) Q5 In a short paragraph, please describe your current classroom discipline practices. ________________________________________________________________ _________________________________ _______________________________ End of Block: Default Question Block Start of Block: Block 1

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! &( ! Q7 Please answer the following questions regarding your personal knowledge of restorative practices within schools. (Restorative Justice is broadly defined as the practice of repairing relationships and harm caused within the school community using conferences, mediations, and structured talking circles (Gonzales, 2012; Suvall, 2009). A restorative style of discipline in schools utilizes all stakeholders (teach ers, students, administrators, parents, community members, etc.) to build support for "victims and offenders, providing both with an opportunity to share their perspectives and to work together to reach a reparative solution" (Suvall, 2009, p. 547). Restor ative practices in schools are generally implemented utilizing the following methods: 1) Peer Mediation: includes a small group of affected parties (usually 2 to 4) and a trained facilitator. Guided by a short, scripted process to encourage healing dial ogue and informal resolution between all stakeholders. 2) Student Led Accountability Boards: includes 5 to 6 appointed student board members and the offenders and victims. Stakeholders create an individualized case plan during the board meeting in which all members must agree upon and sign. 3) Conferencing: holds the same process and purpose of peer mediation and boards, but differs in that it includes a larger group of participants (5 to 10), and may be longer in duration. 4) Circles: may be used to "improve classroom management techniques, guide conversations on difficult topics, and guide problem resolution" (Pavelka, 2013, p. 15). The circle encompasses those impacted by the occurrence, and relevant community members. ) For more information, ple ase visit https://www.sccgov.org/sites/pdo/ppw/SESAP/Documents/SCHOOL%20RJP%20GUIDEBOO OK.pdf Q8 On a scale of 1 to 5, what is your level of knowledge regarding the practice of restorative justice in schools? (slide the bar) 1 2 3 4 5 (1 indicates you know nothing about it, and 5 indicates you have extensive knowledge ) (1) Q9 Please indicate which restorative practices you utilize in your classroom or school by checking all boxes that apply. ! Peer Mediation (1) ! Student Led Peer Ac countability Boards (2) ! Conferencing (3) ! Whole Class Circles (4)

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! &) ! ! I do not use restorative practices in my classroom or school (5) ! Other (6) Q10 Slide the bar below to indicate how you feel about implementing restorative practices within schools as a complete replacement for punitive discipline such as suspension or expulsion. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "0" indicates you do not agree with implementation, "10" indicates you fully agree with implementation (1) Q11 In a short paragraph, please de scribe any of the barriers you experience or foresee in replacing punitive discipline with restorative justice. ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ Q12 Please p rovide any other information that may be necessary in understanding your perspective of the implementation of restorative justice practices in schools. ________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________ _________________________ ________________________________________________________________