• ETnet: Restorative Justice: Helping kids make the right choices

  • Restorative Justice

    Helping kids make the right choices

    • What are ways your students could connect to the wrongs done in this situation?
    • How does giving back to a community build a healthier community?

    Restorative practices create healing spaces where kids know, “I belong here.” They will make the right choices, change, insure that they are connected, and be a part of something. School can be and should be one stable, accountable connection for all kids.

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    What about Life?

    The importance of forgiveness

    Sometimes we hurt others. Sometimes others hurt us. God’s forgiveness in Jesus brings healing for the guilt and regret of sin. Elementary students in Lutheran schools learn not only how to be kind and work together, but also the importance of forgiving others. Just as Jesus forgives the students in your classroom, so too are they enabled to forgive others. The practice of verbally forgiving others affirms life.

    • Saying “I forgive you” is life-affirming. What other life-affirming phrases could be used in addition?
    • Life issues are often surrounded by, and sometimes beget by, guilt and suffering. How can you affirm Christ’s forgiveness and human value in other ways?

    You might consider making the connection between forgiveness and upholding the lives of others through a symbolic activity. Have students write their sins on a small piece of rice paper and fold it up. Then place those folded papers in a deep pan or bucket. Remind students that Christ paid for their sins on the cross, and in their Baptism, they received Christ’s redemptive work. Add water to the bucket and have students watch their sins dissolve and disappear.

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    Photos: Wikimedia/public domain; © iStock/WhitneyLewisPhotography

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