Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz led a half-day faculty training on restorative discipline at Lititz Area Mennonite School (LAMS) in Pennsylvania, on January 15, 2024. Stutzman Amstutz is the Mennonite Church USA denominational minister for Peace and Justice and co-author (with Judy H. Mullet) of “The Little Book of Restorative Discipline for Schools.”
Her presentation examined the role of discipline in schools and the characteristics of peaceable schools. Stutzman Amstutz emphasized the need for flexible policies and whole school engagement. The LAMS faculty participated in discussions about ways to apply restorative approaches in building community, as well as in situations of harm or misbehavior.
Keith Garner, LAMS Head of School, said, “Lorraine spent time in theory, as well as giving us some time for application. We came away affirmed in some of the practices we are already doing that are restorative in nature.”
He added that an important point for the faculty was the need to consider both the student who was harmed as well as the one doing the harm. “Another takeaway was that ‘the investment of time is well worth the benefit of restoring relationships within the community of students we work with each day,’” Garner added, quoting from Stutzman Amstutz’s presentation.
LAMS provides a preschool-high school, Christ-centered education to Christian families.
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Written by Camille Dager