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Restitution (a response to behaviour)

Based on the work of Diane Gossen, Restitution uses the concepts of William Glasser’s Choice or Control Theories and elements of First Nation approaches to deal with victims and offenders involved in inappropriate actions/behaviours. Restitution is also rooted in Response Ability Pathways (RAP) philosophies and the Circle of Courage.

When adopted in schools, this philosophy allows all participants a chance to learn appropriate behaviours for future situations while lending support to both victims and offenders. Discipline shifts to a mentoring and learning experience for the offender by gaining personal insight to behaviours first, learning appropriate behaviours for the future next, and then making amends to the victim(s). In the end, it’s all about restoring and strengthening relations.

When implemented well, Restitution can make an incredible difference in the lives of students and teachers, victims and offenders, alike. There is an element of dignity for offenders and teachers develop skills that decrease the stresses associated with ‘disciplinarians’ and increase classroom management effectiveness. Whether a single person or whole staff chooses to employ this philosophy, the benefits and long-lasting effects are rewarding and invaluable for all. Research is this area indicates repeat offenses are drastically diminished when restitution is implemented effectively.

For more information, contact Gerry Brennan, Director of Instruction for SD 87 and Restitution District Facilitator. Gerry has extensive training in Restitution and has been a District Facilitator for many years. He has provided training to many people in the education field – CUPE employees, teachers and school administrators have attended various workshops. He is also qualified to provide Level I training for interested groups.