I just read an upsetting Op Ed by Michael Zwaagstra, a so-called expert on school and discipline from Manitoba. Sadly he suggests that the Sandy Hook school massacre could have been prevented from a “common sense” approach (e.g. more rules and order). He rejects a zero-tolerance lock-down approach (I agree) but also rejects restorative approaches promoted by Alfie Kohn. He calls them “soft.” Although he is right when he says restorative practices reject punishments and rewards, he is quite wrong when he says, “Kohn’s permissive idealism is based on hopelessly naive understanding of human nature.” Ouch. I spent most of my career as a lawyer resolving conflict and I can assure you that punishments do not work. Period. I can also assure you that restorative practices (like circles and dialogue) are anything but soft and are the best way I know to treat people respectfully and hold them accountable for their behaviour. Mr Zwaagstra should really learn more about restorative justice and the research behind it before condemning leaders like Alfie Kohn. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Source: Vancouver Sun, Opinion Jan 2013][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]
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