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The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply affected schools and the people within them. The move to remote schooling forced practitioners of school-based restorative justice to adapt and innovate, as theory and practice had almost exclusively focused on in-person instruction. In this paper, I first review some of the challenges, adaptations, and lessons during the pandemic. I then argue that restorative justice in schools offers new and unique potential to address needs of educational communities and the students, educators, and staff within them as in-person instruction returns. Specifically, I suggest it could contribute to rebuilding social connection and community, bolstering mental health, and addressing inequities. Finally, I end with limitations and future directions for considering these extensions and evaluating their impact. School-based restorative justice alone cannot be a panacea for these issues, but could be integrated into other supports and services to address the stark needs of school communities and of the young people whose lives have been so deeply impacted by COVID-19.
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Velez, Gabriel M., "School-Based Restorative Justice: Lessons and Opportunities in a Post-Pandemic World" (2021). College of Education Faculty Research and Publications. 582.
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