Restorative justice panel explores better educational and legal outcomes Nov. 22

Faculty of Education

Nov 17, 2017

By Moira Baird

Relationships First: Restorative Justice in Education NL Consortium is holding a panel discussion Nov. 22 on how restorative justice can lead to better outcomes in the province’s education and legal systems.

Panelists will explore the use of restorative justice approaches to address education and legal challenges, including access to justice, the well-being of youth, increased demand on the courts and correctional facilities and the need for safer, healthier communities.

The discussion is scheduled for 7-9 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 22, in Room ED-1020 of the Education Building.

Inaugural event

“The panel is the inaugural event of the Kim Cole Relationships First Memorial Fund,” said Dorothy Vaandering, associate professor with the Faculty of Education and consortium director.

“Kim was an artist, a teacher and passionate believer in relational and restorative justice approaches. It was just a year ago that Kim’s life was cut short by cancer, but her memory and her spirit will continue through the work to advance restorative justice.”

Dr. Vaandering said Ms. Cole, who took a Restorative Justice in Education course for her Master of Education, applied the principles of restorative justice in her classroom.

Framework for living

“She had an unprecedented depth of empathy for all children regardless of their capacity to learn, respecting their parents whether they were community leaders or prisoners, and celebrating their communities and cultures.”

Dr. Vaandering said Ms. Coles’ students learned to work out their differences rather tattle on each other and to handle situations better, show concern for each other and repair harm that had been done.

“Much more than a way to address harm and crime, restorative justice provides a framework for living and working that supports the well-being of all,” she said. “We are beginning to recognize the interconnectedness of our communities and we’re coming together to explore how we can do better. Kim would be delighted.”

Panelists

The discussion is part of Restorative Justice Week 2017 and the panelists are:

  • Andrew Parsons, minister of justice and public safety and attorney general;
  • Joe Boland, chief of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary;
  • Amy Hunt, vice principal, Halifax Regional School Board, and facilitator with the Nova Scotia Restorative Approach;
  • Melendy Muise, support specialist, Coalition Against the Sexual Exploitation of Youth (CASEY);
  • Roxanne Skanes, retired educator and school administrator;
  • Patricia Gorham, director of strategic initiatives, NS Advisory Council on the Status of Women.

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