The Restorative Youth Circles Program engages all of the boys in a fair and inclusive dialogue process with highly trained Circle Keepers. The goal is to determine what actually happened, the extent of the boy’s responsibility, and then have the boy take responsibility for their actions and appreciate the adverse impact or harm their actions have had on others. Peace Building Circles develop resolutions for making amends and for helping boys identify attainable goals for the future, allowing them to get back to school and become contributing members of the community.
In Francis ST CBS, a ‘talking piece’ is sent around in a circle, and whoever holds it gets to speak without interruption. The boy holding the talking piece may even hold it without speaking, and can just use the time to collect thoughts and emotion. It spreads responsibility for the development of the outcomes to all participants. At certain times, the talking piece may be held down by the Circle Facilitator and the discussion may be opened to everyone.
The values we want to imbue in our students are trust, love, respect, honesty, humility, sharing, courage, empathy, inclusivity and forgiveness. “If we use these values to address our differences and achieve meaningful resolutions, we will also engage in honest sharing with one another, we will build trust in each other, we will lay the groundwork for understanding and for forgiveness, we will build healthy communities, and we will lay the foundations for peaceful co-existence”.