FACE for Schools — Restorative Practices & Principles in Our Schools
In 2001, a community information meeting attracted attention from one of the high schools. In 2002, we trained a group of students and teachers from 3 high schools, so that they could duplicate what we do here in the FACE Program in order to deal with offences and conflicts within these schools. In 2003, the FACE Program trained additional high school students in Midland and Elmvale and a nucleus of trainees in 6 more high schools from Alliston, Innisdale, and Barrie.
The central component of this program is the restorative justice circle. The offender and his/her family or siginficant others participate in a “circle” meeting with the victim and that person’s support network, along with a team of two trained volunteer facilitators. The conference (or circle) is held within weeks of the incident and the group by consensus decides how to best deal with the incident for all parties involved.
When justice is dealt with in this inclusionary way, the matter is handled quickly in a way that allows for closure and the beginning of healing. The offender is offered and opportunity for self-accountability; the victim gains understanding and sometimes even forgiveness; the authority of the family and the community to take responsibility for itself is affirmed.
In 2009, FACE developed a proposal for school boards to assist with in-school training which involves administrators, teachers, staff, students and parents, assist with use of circle principles and practices for small and large incidents. As well, they can be mentors to in-school restorative justice coordinators to create a sustainable restorative justice culture within the school with support from the FACE Program over the span of 1½ years.Please contact us if you are interested in learning more.