What is Youth Council??
In the 2019-2020 school year, SPA initiated its first ever Youth Council - a peer to peer restorative justice program. Youth will work together as an alternative to suspension, early intervention for escalating behaviors, and mediating peer conflict. The purpose of the Youth Council will be to repair harm and build competencies that help create safer schools.
The goals of the Youth Council are: increasing accountability of youth, assisting all those involved to move forward successfully, determining a fair and restorative sanction, supervising the sanction and monitor the outcome. Youth Council is created to reduce incident escalation and/or serve as a last step effort to reduce suspension/ expulsion.
At SPA, we know that part of growing up includes making mistakes and sometimes failing to make good choices, but we want students to know that they are not their mistakes. We want students to evolve from their interactions, right their wrongs, and reflect on how our process demonstrated care and character building versus punitive outcomes.
Part of this process includes productive and caring partnerships with the families of young people in our community. Students learn to perform the functions of the Youth Council by practicing the roles of judges, jurors, community advocates and youth advocates, conducting intake, and distributing sanctions.
To be a part of Youth Council, contact our Dean of Students, Salam Mustafa @ firstname.lastname@example.org.