Combating Racial Harassment through Restorative Justice in Schools

community-circle-270x250Throughout the last school year, our client, a bi-racial student in a coastal Massachusetts school district, experienced significant racial harassment and alienation at the hands of his white high school peers, and felt little support from school leaders in addressing it.  The Lawyers’ Committee represented the student and his family in negotiations with the district and secured the family’s preferred remedies, including a restorative justice conference between our client and the students who had targeted him most.  Restorative justice is an approach to resolving a conflict that places responsibility on those involved to craft and carry out a solution to it.  Through this restorative justice conference, our client’s harassers have come to understand and begun to repair the harm their actions caused.  As a result, our client and his family have started the process of healing and are hopeful for a more inclusive school community upon his return this fall.