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Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Over the past decade, many schools have adopted zero-tolerance policies to curtail negative student behavior. Such policies persist although "there is as yet little evidence that the strategies typically associated with zero tolerance contribute to improved student behavior or overall school safety." Suspension and expulsion result in negative outcomes for both schools and students. Much more effective is the use of restorative dispute resolution (RDR)--methods that have been effective for years in juvenile justice. Instead of zero tolerance and authoritarian punishment, restorative practices provide high levels of control and support, which encourage appropriate behavior and place the responsibility for resolution on students themselves. This is done by using a collaborative response to victimization. This article discusses the philosophy underlying RDR, the purpose of RDR, and the principles of RDR.