One of the challenges of combatting zero tolerance policies and practices in schools requires providing an alternative methods of dealing with conflicts between students, students and teachers, and the lack of a positive and supportive school climate.

Central Valley Movement Building supports and advocates the use of the restorative justice models in schools and districts with a particular focus on what is called Restorative Justice Circles.

The traditional method of suspending and sending students home when they get into a fight or other altercations simply does not work to keep students in school or help develop mutual respect amongst students and the school in general. The goal should be that schools, teachers, staff and administrators help build a positive climate for students in which zero tolerance policies and countless stated and unstated rules are replaced by a climate of mutual respect and caring.

Five Selected Videos

The following are five chosen videos about restorative justice circles that provide an overview of how useful restorative justice circles work and the positive impact they can have in schools. If you find it useful, you might consider showing one of these videos to your group, classroom, or at a school board meetings. Strike up a conversations with your peers, fellow parents, and teachers about restorative justice circles in your school or district.

Restorative Circles: Creating a Safe Environment for Students to Reflect

A daily meeting provides space for students to reflect on their behavior and find positive ways to resolve conflicts.

Colorado high school replaces punishment with ‘talking circles’

At Hinkley High School in Aurora, Colo., students, parents and administration are meeting face-to-face to resolve student conflict with conversation. The number of physical altercations has taken a nosedive as this new type of disciplinary action, called “restorative justice,” replaces suspension. Hari Sreenivasan has the story.

The “Why” of Restorative Practices in Spokane Public Schools

Restorative Practices is an approach to promoting positive behaviors that focuses on understanding the conflict and how to repair the harm, rather than traditional discipline.

This video outlines how it works in Spokane Public Schools. Learn more at

Restorative Justice in Oakland Schools: Tier One. Community Building Circle

A pair of students at MetWest High School, an Oakland public school in Oakland, Calif., facilitate a community-building circle in their classroom.

Introducing Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth

RJOY’s mission is to fundamentally shift the way we respond to youthful wrongdoing from punitive approaches that inflict more harm to restorative approaches that repair it.

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