Posts Tagged ‘restorative justice’

Oakland City Council gives schools $1.2 million in one-time funding for the school year

Hundreds of Oakland students protested budget cuts at a school board meeting in March. Last week, Oakland City Council restored funding for student programs affected by those cuts. Photo by Nikka Singh.

Last Tuesday, the Oakland City Council passed a resolution to provide $1.2 million in funding for the Oakland Unified School District’s (OUSD) restorative justice program, foster youth case manager positions, and school libraries. All three programs were at risk of enacting widespread layoffs or reductions to the services they provide following the Oakland school board’s…

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Local nonprofit offers support for formerly incarcerated people

Community Works is a nonprofit organization in Oakland that provides services for formerly incarcerated people. These include parenting classes and groups that help men discuss ways they can overcome “toxic” masculine behaviors. For the past year, Community Works has hosted a weekly “restorative justice circle,” also known as a “citizens’ circle,” in their office for people…

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School suspensions cost communities and unfairly affect minorities, experts say

Urban Peace Movement's youth member Joel Reyes facilitates a chess lesson for DetermiNation Black Men's Group. Photo by Prince White.

A recent study suggests that not only do suspensions take a toll on students, they place a financial burden on their communities. In March, the California Dropout Research Project at UC Santa Barbara and the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at UC Los Angeles released a study revealing that school suspensions could cost communities across the state a total of $2.7 billion per graduating class.

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Therapists, Role Models, Spies: An Oakland school trains students to help mediate campus conflict

girl face

Peer mediators serve as “Mr. Kyle” McClerkins’ eyes and ears around school. They listen to fellow students, help them take responsibility for their actions and decide on appropriate consequences. McClerkins’ peer mediator program is part of a larger framework called the Restorative Justice Whole School Model, implemented in Oakland since 2005, and existing in various forms around the country, from Chicago to New Orleans.

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At Castlemont, new school year brings changes, challenges

Chinyere Tutashinda passes out visitor passes and peacekeeping positions at Castlemont High School in East Oakland.

As Norman Ospina, the school attendance clerk and a translator at Castlemont High School in East Oakland, crossed the courtyard on a crisp overcast fall morning, he spotted a young man he believed had been involved in a campus brawl on September 21. Ospina, whose students call him “Mr. O,” placed his index finger over…

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Oakland teens try peer cases at McCullum Youth Court

Qadir Bilal strode confidently to the witness stand, in his colorful bow tie and crisp black shirt and trousers. He paused. He fixed his gaze on the person before him, a young woman who had been caught in possession of marijuana – and who, like 16-year-old Qadir, is in high school.

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City, community groups express pride following protests

Footlocker boarded and padlocked

As Oakland awaits next month’s sentencing of Johannes Mehserle, the BART police officer convicted last Thursday of involuntary manslaughter in the 2009 shooting of Oscar Grant, authorities, community groups and onlookers congratulated each other on the mostly non-violent protests that followed the verdict last Thursday. Joint planning among city, police and community groups helped keep the peace, they say.

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