OPINION: Pro-Restorative Discipline is Beneficial


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Restorative Discipline is a practice that has been adopted by many schools in recent years. It focuses on helping reform students who break school policies, rather than just punishing them and moving on. Restorative Discipline is a beneficial attribution to both our schools and communities.
Helping not just the victim, but also the offender is the main goal of Restorative Discipline. To both help counsel the victim, if there is one, and make sure the offender might get whatever help they may need to not make that offense again. Naturally, it makes this method have fewer repeat offenders, as it focuses on helping those students not make the same mistake again. If students get the counseling they need, they’ll be less likely to do the same thing later down the road.
A person’s time in school is important in their life. It is the time they figure out who they are and what they want to be. A student’s mind is most receptive to learning behaviors and mindsets due to outside influences. This makes how we handle discipline very important. If the school’s set strict and unforgiving punishments, students will learn and begin to think that people who break these rules are beyond being forgiven. This is not a healthy mindset. School’s need a more forgiving form of discipline to teach them that it’s not exactly black and white. Reform is possible and should be encouraged to pursue at all costs. Restorative Discipline better teaches students empathy toward those in a rougher situation than them. To see that there are underlying reasons for behaviors that should be considered, not just the offense committed.
Not every offender will benefit from this practice, but that’s the nature of any form of discipline. If people only focused on the times where a plan doesn’t work, no one would be able to settle on any plan. As long as some people benefit from Restorative Discipline it is an effective method, over the alternatives. A practice is effective as long as it has a positive impact on a majority of people. Other forms of discipline just punish someone and “call it a day.” It hardly benefits anyone, it just harms a few people. While Restorative Discipline actively attempts to make a more positive impact on every party involved.
Schools as a whole are meant to further every student in the pursuit of their goals. If any student in a school’s halls isn’t given help or left behind, that school has room to improve. It is their goal to help and benefit every student, including the ones that break their rules and policies. Any alternatives to Restorative Discipline just harm some of the students involved. Which shouldn’t be the goal of any school.