ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque Public Schools is joining a national movement to make discipline more educational and less punitive.
The district recently received a $4.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education, which will fund restorative justice programs at 12 middle schools over four years.
Restorative justice – a philosophy that has been gaining popularity in many large urban areas – focuses on mediation and reparations to rebuild community after an offense. It particularly aims to reduce suspensions among minority children, who are disproportionately impacted by “exclusionary discipline” and can fall behind in class as a result.
“We are hoping to ultimately change outcomes for students in terms of their behavior and their social and emotional learning,” said Katarina Sandoval, APS associate superintendent for equity and access. “We are trying to teach how to better control your emotions and how to better communicate.”