Restorative justice takes a different approach to crime than is typical in the United States – rather than simply punishing those who have broken the law, it acknowledges that crime and its effects on communities, people, and relationships is a complex issue. As a result, restorative justice encourages repairing these relationships caused by criminal behavior by having both parties meet and discuss the harm done as well as how to resolve the situation.
LGBTQ Center OC recognizes the importance of Restorative Justice in creating safe spaces for LGBTQ students. It is crucial to consider the intersectional experiences of LGBTQ students who are students of color and students with disabilities. LGBTQ students additionally face the impacts of discriminatory policies and explicit and implicit bias in school discipline practices, such as suspensions and expulsions.
Effectively meeting the needs of LGBTQ youth requires creating supportive learning environments for all students, which can be achieved through various models, such as restorative justice, peer counseling, and mediation. These solutions bring students and educators together to collaboratively and proactively address the root cause of conflict, thereby allowing schools to address and correct student behavior without denying students valuable instructional time.
Our Elevate Program has several services that help support LGBTQ youth of color and parents, guardians, and educators toward tools and solutions. Click on one of the buttons below to start your journey toward restorative justice.