Last week, the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law’s Center for Dispute Resolution hosted a webinar on “Building a Restorative School District,” sharing the results of OSI’s recent report, co-released with the Center, Johns Hopkins’ School of Education, and Baltimore City Schools, which detailed the initial impact of integrating restorative practices into Baltimore City Schools (read the Baltimore Sun story on the report). Watch the full webinar here (the required passcode: ZD.%v@m7)
Panelists included Karen Webber, director of OSI’s Education and Youth Development Program, Matt Hornbeck, principal at Hampstead Hill Academy, an early adopter of restorative practices in Baltimore City, and Anastasia W. Smith, director of Special Projects at the Center for Dispute Resolution. Deborah Eisenberg, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Maryland Carey Law, moderated the discussion.
Webber noted that if restorative practices are only used to address disputes, they will fail. “Unless people are practiced in the skill of communicating to one another, a restorative circle after a huge fight occurred is not going to solve anything,” she said. “Restorative practices build communities first and foremost.”
The panelists discussed the findings of the report, the range of resources available to educators, and next steps to expand the use of restorative practices in Baltimore City classrooms.