The title of this blog is bound to be confusing. These three things became related to me this morning. Actually the Three Sister tale and SPF (Strategic Prevention Framework were already linked).
So lets begin with SPF. Basically it means looking at a problem with a 3 prong approach – prevention, intervention and treatment. For much detail link to SAMHSA here.
When I train on this I ask for three volunteers for the front of the room. The model student (1) who is on task and follows directions. The ‘at-risk’ student (2), who we know could go either way and then the ‘troublemaker‘ (3). I mention my dislike for labels. When the audience is from the same school or they work together it’s fun to watch. They self select the student roles, a bit of teasing and prodding and they know exactly who to send to the front of the room. Sometimes the choice is a paradox. Like the nice staff playing the troublemaker. Sometimes I can make a teaching moment – – when strong selections are made by the audience. So lets say everyone knows the troublemaker. I bet he’s the guy that take voice to the administration, he might even be the union rep. We explore this a little identifying his strengths. Then I point out how his skill set and personality are of value. What if we could view our class ‘troublemakers’ as students with a special skillset and value. ??? just food for thought.
Back to the theme of the post. Having the visual in the front of the room. I demonstrate how school-based Restorative Justice address needs and harms for all three types of students. Formal discipline will remove student 3. Leaving 1 & 2 to wonder what happened. For student 2, if can reinforce his ‘the world is mean’ reality. RJ engages all three and benefits all three.
Three Sisters heard noises of crying from the River, they ran over to see all these babies in the water. Crying, drowning, some were floating they had already drown. One sister ran up stream to see why the babies were falling in the river. The second sister got in the water and starting teaching the babies to swim. The third sister started to rescue babies from the water.
This story illustrates the many places of intervention. I really make a point of spending time on Restorative Justice in all those areas. Preventing the number one cause of death for people 16-24 by safe teen driving circles. Underage Consumption for those already ticketed for drinking and finally storytelling space for those that have killed or had to survive the death of a loved one.
Okay my toliet. A little battle began recently. It’s me trying to keep the toliet clean. About a month ago repairs were needed. Now the flush is very slow and it is not taking all the ‘germs’ away. I know this because it is getting very dirty, very fast. I don’t like this one bit. Who likes toliet cleaning?
I called the Landlord and the maintance man said nothing was wrong with it. Before the toliet broke and was repaired I didn’t have to clean it as often which worked perfectly fine for me. So I went for a solution, calling the Landlord didn’t work. So I got a blue water treatment thingy, one of those cakes for the back of the toilet. I decided to prevent the problem. That way wouldn’t have to apply an intervention as often.
This morning I watched the flush and when the blue water was out, I still saw the very dirty bowl. Now that that failed I realized I have to go to treatment – call the landlord and say insist it’s broken. It just all clicked in my head today.
Just for a little fun . . .
The Landlord is our current formal justice system/discipline in school. Saying “its’ not broken”. The blue toilet cake – is the response (probation, prison, formal discipline). The things we think are working and they are a little. But take a closer look and we all need to get together, use the scrub brush and keep on top of the issues. There’s no quick fix other than to DO THE WORK NEEDED.
Thank goodness for all the people working to keep us safe! Let’s continue to implement Restorative Justice to prevent, intervene and treat. I think our success at transforming people will be much better.