Just Desserts, or Crime and … Restorative Justice?

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For our newer readers: “Slouching toward Bedlam” is a fictional column written by an imaginary columnist, Jan Karsvlaam. Bedlam Christian School is a lot like the school where you teach. The teachers you will find here are much like your own colleagues (and perhaps like you, too). To join in the fun, just read along. […]

Lessons in Restorative Justice Coming to Canada from South Africa: Bishop Desmond Tutu and the “Truth and Reconciliation Commission”

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World Cup soccer has highlighted the nation of South Africa. Less well known is how South Africa’s turbulent racial history and its transition, beginning in 1994, from a racially segregated state to one built on equality and inclusion has influenced other countries. We know Nelson Mandela played a huge role in South Africa’s change, but […]

Disciplining Students

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Question 1 What do you do with a student in your class who is a disorganized mess, constantly distracted in class, and refuses to listen? Should you use class time to try to get the student on task? How can you get a distracted student to start paying attention in class? As I read your […]

Journey to Bethlehem

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The Bible is filled with stories of transgressions and a Creator who longs to give opportunities to restore what has gone wrong. As such, I believe that God has called me into my corner of the world to help restore the brokenness that we encounter daily in the lives of staff, students, and parents at […]

Restorative Living Projects

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For years I have been intrigued by the concept of restorative justice. My first encounter with this concept came from the movie Dead Man Walking, in which a convicted murderer on death row (Sean Penn) approaches his final days and a nun (Susan Sarandon) leads him to recognize the brutality in his actions and the […]

Restorative Discipline

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Prior to coming to Covenant College in 2004, my wife and I worked in a Christian school for twenty-three years. For the last twelve or thirteen years of my time there, I served as the upper school principal, and in that role I had many opportunities to see God’s grace at work, particularly in and […]

Restorative Justice: Faithful and Fair

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I am sure we can all remember playing “school” when we were younger. At a very young age, children act out what they think school looks like. Have you ever watched this happen? The kids find chairs, line them up, put their dolls into the chairs, and proceed to teach the students. I am sure […]

Becoming Communities of Grace

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What is it about the gospel that can bring a healing voice to what is called “discipline” in schools? Part of the DNA of Christian schools is the belief that the gospel provides alternative perspectives to the priorities of contemporary culture. These are explored in every area of the curriculum: math, science, literature, history, business, […]