Youth speak: Students want discipline that restores in Fresno Unified School District

[box_dark]Editor’s Note: Jane Carretero’s letter to the editor of  The Fresno Bee was published on Tuesday, March 12th. Jane wrote about her support for implementing Restorative Justice for Fresno Unified, in hopes of giving youth a second chance to be on a path toward graduation instead of expulsion or incarceration. [/box_dark]

When I read the March 8 article about Thursday’s breakfast addressing Fresno Unified School District expulsions and suspensions, it brought back memories from when I was an office aide at Fort Miller Middle School last year. I used to see students getting suspended over simple things, like piercings and hair color, which caused them to fall behind in classwork.

In under two years, I’ve moved from Fort Miller Middle School to Edison High School, and now to J.E. Young home studies. Throughout my journey, I’ve wished my schools had used restorative justice because I would have had a better experience with the staff and teachers. Restorative justice would have given me the chance to be more engaged in my classes and successful, and would have helped my classmates, too.

I know Fresno Unified board members are facing a huge choice about school discipline. Their decision is the chance to make this generation of students better through restorative justice by giving them a second chance and letting them reach their full potential. Who knows? The next president or Einstein could be in a Fresno Unified classroom.

Jane Carretero
14 years old

Original Post: The Fresno Bee
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Youth speak: Students want discipline that restores in Fresno Unified School District

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