Restorative Justice Conference between wrong do-er, their parents, the six class members deemed most affected and a senior member of staff and a member of staff who will try to support the students going forward.
We came into school and spoke with the wrong do-er, who admitted their behaviour but at this point showed little or no remorse or understanding of the affect it had on others.
We then spoke to the six students who had been identified as those most affected by wrong do-er, behaviour. All the students told a very similar sequence of events with some small variation, which is very normal for conflict situations. They all spoke about their frustrations with having wrong do-er, in their class when situations such as these have happened over such a long period of time without them being resolved. The students also spoke about their general frustration at wrong do-er, behaviour in class, their lack of engagement in learning, disregard for staff especially around using their phone in class, their resentment of how some staff allowed the student to use their phone as long as they weren’t disruptive, and how rude they could be to staff which wound them up and affected their time in class.
We re-interviewed wrong do-er and went into greater details of their reactions to other pupils being upset by their actions, this seemed to start to have an impact on wrong do-er, responses and understanding of the situation. We also spoke to them about their lack of engagement in learning and this seemed to genuinely surprise them that they was viewed in this way.
We met and prepared wrong do-er, parents giving them an opportunity to think about their responses to issues that have been growing at school. It also gave them the space to consider what additional actions they needed to take to ensure a change of behaviour was appropriate and genuine. We then spoke to wrong do-er again about how everyone would benefit from a genuine resolution and explained that we had spoken to the parents in details about the situation, how it had affected others, what they could do differently and wrong do-er, engagement in class. This seemed to further surprise the wrong doer and we were at this point a little more hopeful of a positive outcome.
Restorative Conferencing is a process which aims to meet the needs of those affected but is also known to be likely to change the behaviour of wrong do-er’s. As we had some concerns about wrong do-er willingness to engage appropriately we decided to tell the six students this to ensure they were fully aware of the situation. They said that regardless of whether wrong do-er, feelings were going to be genuine they would like to go ahead with a meeting and see what would come from it. We spoke to the students about their expectations to ensure that they fully understood our reservations about wrong do-ers engagement.
We held the conference, wrong do-er spoke first, they had clearly spent some time thinking about their options and apologised in what seemed a genuine manner and was making a real effort to resolve the issue. This then gave the six students the opportunity to talk about how what had happened had affected them and what they would like to come out of the meeting. They all said they would like wrong do-er to change their reactions to conflict and engage appropriately in class, they also said that they would support them if they saw a genuine attempt to change. An agreement was drawn up and refreshments were served.