Thank you for expressing your opinion on this Mr. Bruno. Alternatively please consider that restorative justice and positive behavior support approaches for schools are consistent and that they compliment each other.

Instead of framing this as: “’Restorative Justice’ Vs. PBIS,” I suggest: “Restorative Justice for Positive Behavior Support” and have just published an individual blog on it. Kris Miner also wrote a blog 2 years ago: “School-based Restorative Justice is PBIS (positive behavioral interventions and supports)” http://circle-space.org/2010/12/08/school-based-restorative-justice-is-pbis-positive-behavioral-interventions-supports/.

Both restorative justice (RJ) and positive behavior support (PBS) approaches use public health learning approaches for harm and addressing wrongdoing. My blog developed in 2008 is based on the idea that restorative justice is a public health approach: http://www.lorennwalker.com/blog/.

Public health developed, and has used the three levels of prevention known as primary, secondary and tertiary to address disease for decades. A public health approach is often suggested for violence prevention http://www.vetoviolence.org/basics-primary-prevention.html. PBS also seeks to prevent harm and promote good student behavior using the three prevention levels first described in public health http://www.scribd.com/doc/27069628/Handbook-of-Positive-Bahavior-Support.

Restorative justice practitioner Kris Miner has developed helpful one page paper on how the three levels of primary, secondary and tertiary apply to restorative justice for addressing bullying:

Many throughout the world have been interested in using solution-focused brief therapy, an example of PBS http://www.freepatentsonline.com/article/Journal-Instructional-Psychology/289619985.html, with our restorative justice applications for years. Both approaches, RJ and the solution focused approach (a PBS), compliment each other.

RJ addresses how harm can be repaired, which can help prevent future harm, and a school using PBS can use RJ as an intervention when misbehavior occurs.

Circles for learning have been part of the Montessori Method of education for almost 100 years now. And according to Peter Senge, who has studied organizational management for years, “no indigenous culture has yet been found that does not have the practice of sitting in a circle and talking.” Even in Western cultures, individuals used to meet personally, instead of formal settings like court today, to address conflicts to many including Dan Van Ness and John Braithwaite.

Please look to restorative applications in Hull, England, Washington, DC, and what we’ve done here in Hawai’i, with solution focused approaches, which are compatible with and promote the PBS goal of increasing positive social behavior.

Thank you again for your column. Hopefully all our efforts and further communication will lead to more peaceful schools, and happier people.