We speak with Sarah Eblen and Reginald Berry Jr., former middle school teachers and now district coordinators for the restorative justice program in the Kansas City Public Schools. Eighty percent of RJ is community building and 20% conflict resolution. When there is a conflict, the RJ process ensures that everyone — students, teachers, and parents — feels heard. Since the program started, classroom behavior problems have decreased, students’ out-of-school relationships have improved, and teacher satisfaction with the disciplinary process has increased.


00:00-00:41 Intros
00:41-01:04 Journey from teaching to overseeing systemwide restorative justice (RJ) program
01:04-04:07 Program logistics
04:07-05:17 Training
05:17-09:00 Major tools of RJ
09:00-10:28 Where does the community building occur?
10:28-12:57 Impact on student behavior
12:57-14:16 Discipline disparities
14:16-16:36 Effects on teachers’ practice
16:36-19:50 Revised Code of Conduct
19:50-21:04 Coping with teacher or principal turnover
21:04-22:43 Impact beyond the school
22:43-27:52 When students get conflicting messages from home and school
27:52-29:45 Funding
29:45-32:10 Where to get more information n RJ training
32:10- Outro


Click here to see the full transcript of this episode. 


  • National Association of Community and Restorative Justice website
  • Center for Conflict Resolution website

Soundtrack by Podington Bear