New Law Brings Restorative Justice to Illinois Schools

This year, POWER-PAC members organized Parent Peace Centers at 6 Chicago Public Schools. Above, they gather to reflect on and celebrate what was accomplished this year in the Parent Peace Centers.

In August 2015, the Governor signed into law Senate Bill 100, legislation that marks an important step towards breaking the school-to-prison pipeline in Illinois.

Parent peacemakers in schools and community-based Peace Centers allied with parent and youth leaders from across the state to support this bill. As a result of their work – and the work of many others – Illinois schools will be better positioned to use restorative practices instead of “zero tolerance” discipline policies.

Some highlights from the new law include:

  • The elimination of fines and fees for student misconduct
  • The opportunity for students to make up work missed during a suspension
  • Provisions for support services for students who are suspended for 4+ days. This can include academic counseling or access to mental health professionals.

For years, POWER-PAC members have worked on the issues addressed in SB100. As part of their Elementary Justice Campaign, for example, parent leaders have organized Parent Peace Centers and Peace Circles in several Chicago Public Schools. Check out this video to learn more about the great things that can happen when schools support a culture of restorative justice.

And then, read more about what SB100 means for Illinois students, by visiting this Huffington Post write-up on the law.