NSEA believes in the principles of restorative justice, which proactively builds healthy relationships and a sense of community to prevent and address conflict and wrongdoing. NSEA always takes a strong stance for the safety of educators.
The issue of student discipline continues to be one of the more vexing ones for all educators. During the 2017 session, NSEA worked to improve Nevada’s system of progressive student discipline. Last session, this was replaced with a restorative justice model. Unfortunately, school districts were not provided with the guidance and resources necessary to successfully implement, and student and educator safety has been compromised. SB354 provides this important missing piece.
Every day, educators make students feel welcome in the classroom and at school sites. Many utilize learning circles, conflict resolution, and mediation to deal with challenges and resolve conflict. However, this work is often independent of broader school culture. It is necessary for there to be proactive district and school-wide plans to implement restorative practice that is seamlessly integrated into the classroom, curriculum and culture of the school. This also means providing needed trainings to foster an environment where restorative discipline systems can be successful. Restorative practices should extend throughout the school site and should engage all staff to create and maintain a safe physical space, a supportive school climate, an engaging academic environment, and healthy relationships between students, peers, and staff.