Sticks, Stones, and Schoolyard Bullies: Restorative Justice, Mediation and a New Approach to Conflict Resolution in Our Schools

35 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2008 Last revised: 2 Oct 2008

Date Written: August 18, 2008

Abstract

One of the most damaging and increasing problems in our schools today is student teasing and bullying. The research is clear: Victims and bystanders of bullying will experience emotional scars with long-term effects. This Article discusses the failure of the traditional legal system to prevent bullying and to provide appropriate compensation for its victims. In addition, the Article introduces a new approach to conflict resolution in our schools called the Social Inclusion Approach. Based upon principles of Restorative Justice, the Social Inclusion Approach seeks to change the climate of the school and give the bystanders the power to say, "Stop." Finally, this article discusses a model anti-bullying statute that requires schools to adopt and implement research-based, whole-school approaches to end bullying. It is only in a school environment where teasing and bullying are out of place that we can truly get a handle on this subversive and difficult community problem.

Keywords: therapeutic jurisprudence, school law, mediation, bullying, legal remedies, anti-bullying statutes

Suggested Citation

Christensen, Leah M., Sticks, Stones, and Schoolyard Bullies: Restorative Justice, Mediation and a New Approach to Conflict Resolution in Our Schools (August 18, 2008). TJSL Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1236342, Nevada Law Journal, Vol. 9, No. 2, 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1236342

Leah M. Christensen (Contact Author)

Thomas Jefferson School of Law ( email )

701 B Street
Suite 110
San Diego, CA 92101
United States
619-961-4264 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.tjsl.edu/faculty-l-christensen

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