- Dylan Jackson
- Richard Lofton
- Larry Simmons
Research Project Description
Stark racial disparities in exclusionary discipline and school punishment exist and routinely disadvantage students of color, catalyzing a racialized school-to-prison pipeline (STPP). Restorative justice (RJ) approaches are increasingly implemented in schools as an alternative response to addressing conflict and misbehavior that can disrupt the STPP and improve school climate. Despite the strengths of this approach, RJ in school settings often fails to achieve transformative justice through a social justice vision that centers anti-racism and advocacy, despite recent calls to advance this work. While traditional RJ approaches may disrupt the STPP, they do not inherently address the violence of structural racism and how it impacts student emotional and behavioral health, nor do they routinely center anti-racism education and advocacy in RJ policy and practice (e.g., responsive circles).
This application seeks to remedy this oversight by asking the following questions: What is the role of antiracism education and advocacy in current Restorative Justice (RJ) practices in Baltimore City Public Schools System (BCPSS) and can shifting to transformative justice promote health, racial healing, and empowerment?
- How do BCPSS administrators and personnel understand and perceive current RJ approaches, their implementation, and the role of antiracism in RJ? What is their vision for future curricula and implementation? We will partner with 3 middle and 3 high schools to aid our understanding.
- How do BCPSS students and parents experience, view, and discuss the School-to-Prison Pipeline (STPP) and current RJ practices? We will partner with students and parents to shape curricula.
- How can stakeholder input and partnerships be leveraged to make RJ curricula more transformative, anti-racist, and healing-centered in approach and content?
We will co-develop curricula and collect pre- and post-intervention data to assess its transformational capacity.
Dr. Jackson is an expert in Criminology and Public Health and has expertise on how the STPP and youth-police interactions in schools shape adolescent health.
Dr. Lofton is an expert in Sociology and Education and has a history of partnering with Baltimore City Public Schools System.
Mr. Simmons is a Baltimore native with critical insights and knowledge pertaining to the Baltimore landscape and the facilitators and barriers to successful research-community partnerships. He is a trusted community member with unparalleled connections to community organizers, city agencies, and school leadership. Mr. Simmons sits on multiple city and school committees and provides training on organizing and the history of Baltimore.