The last time we talked about Restorative Practices we addressed how it can be used as an alternative to harsh school disciplinary policies. Today, we show one of the ways STARS is using restorative practices to help decrease school-based violence and identify emotional, mental, or behavioral disorders related to school violence.
The Issue: School-based Violence & Gap in Services
Currently, Nashville, TN has the Nation’s 18th worst violent crime rate for cities over 100,000. To help alleviate school-based violence and treat mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders experienced as a result from the violence, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (through Project Prevent) has partnered with STARS to address school violence and the current gap of services appropriate within the cohort of 14 schools. By training staff and school faculty in restorative practices and teaching the school systems how to properly implement it, schools experience a decrease in school-based violence and the gap in services.
The Solution: Restorative Practices
Implementing restorative practices in schools can be a difficult task. STARS along with MNPS will provide the appropriate tool kit to assist schools and faculty members to improve their school climate by using healthier methodologies when addressing violence, as well as how to provide services for students who have emotional, mental, or behavioral disorders due to violence. The goal of our partnership is to address violence experienced and witnessed by our students as well as identify gaps in current services within the district.
STARS and MNPS will 1) provide professional development opportunities for staff to screen for and respond to violence-related trauma and implement appropriate school-based mitigation strategies (restorative practices); 2) improve the variety, availability, and quality of school-based mental health services by supporting Cluster Support Teams (CST) throughout the district; (Cluster Support Teams (CST) are made up of an array of professionals from Social Workers to Behavior Analysts/Specialists. The core team works together to assist families to remove barriers to successful attendance and graduation), and 3) address the needs of students in the school district by implementing a thorough model that will improve the process for identifying and providing services for students who are exposed to pervasive violence and who may be experiencing mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders.
If you are interested in any of our trainings, please contact Teresa Whitaker for more details.