Circle of Justice

Discussion in 'General Education' started by firemaple, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. firemaple

    firemaple Companion

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    Jun 29, 2008

    We are reading, "Touching Spirit Bear," in my class and was thinking about trying to hold our own circle of justice. Does anyone have any ideas on how to go about implementing this?

    For those not familar with the novel, "Touching Spirit Bear" is about a boy who opts for circle justice, a Native Indian form of justice, versus the traditional route of jail time.

    People from the neighborhood, the boy's victims and his family all convene to put in their two cents about what should be done to the boy for the crime he committed.

    He winds up getting banished for one year to a remote Alaskan Island, where he finds forgiveness and turns a corner.

    For the classroom, I was thinking of printing a bunch of ridiculous laws that are funny, etc. and forming the classroom into a circle and having a student sit in the center and give him the "law" that he broke, which may be as silly as "you were caught wearing a fake mustache in church." (Which was a real law at one time in Alabama.)

    Then we can go around the room and have students offer up suggestions as to how he could make it right.

    I don't know, but for some reason I'm thinking my idea is really lame. maybe I just don't have any confidence in it. Or if someone else has a suggestion, I'd love to hear it.

    Thanks in advance,

    Jim
     
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  3. Mr. D.

    Mr. D. Rookie

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    Jun 29, 2008

    I've read the book with my kids and they love it. I use to work at a camp in Florida for kids with major behavior issues. We would have something called huddle ups. This was called when a kid stepped out of line. They could be called by the teacher or any of the kids in the group.

    In a huddle up the behavior would be discussed, and the group would come up with a more appropriate way of handling the situation in the future. Often times, if someone's feelings were hurt, they would be given the chance to talk as well.

    Anyway, circle justice reminded me of huddle ups. I'm going to try out some modified version this year with my sixth graders.
     
  4. holliday

    holliday Comrade

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    Jun 29, 2008

    I love that book! I'd really like to use it with my 7th graders, but my principal would never go for the language...but I'm currently trying to revamp our school discipline procedure into something more like circle justice. I think it would be much more meaningful than the lame 20 minute time-out we have now.
     
  5. scooter503

    scooter503 Comrade

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    Jun 29, 2008

    I sub in a middle school that uses Touching Spirit Bear as part of the reading curriculum. In the last few years they have adopted circle justice as part of their discipline policy. The actual program is called Restorative Justice. All the staff attended training, and they even redid the daily schedule to include "circle time" every morning. If anyone is truly interested I can probably find out who did the training or other info.
     
  6. holliday

    holliday Comrade

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    Jun 30, 2008

    Cool...I'm definitely interested. The committee I'm on is meeting in a few weeks. I'd love to know more about your program so I could take that info with me. THANKS!:haha::thanks:
     
  7. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Jun 30, 2008

    Totally unfamiliar w/this book, but will look into it. What language is objectionable? My district's school board is extremely conservative. My kids can't read Harry Potter in my class w/o a written note by a parent. That's my rule, not the districts and it just keeps me out of hot water.
     

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