Some MCPS Middle School Staff Will be Trained in Restorative Justice

Montgomery County Councilmembers unanimously approved Feb. 23 spending $750,000 to train middle school teachers and staff in restorative justice with the goal of reducing disproportionate discipline and arrests.

Councilmembers Will Jawando and Hans Riemer want to oust Student Resource Officers out of Montgomery County Public Schools. While this training won’t accomplish that, it is also aimed at reducing the disparity of arrests and disciplinary actions in school that impact students of color more than other students. According to background information concerning the appropriation, “Black students are over six times more likely to be suspended from MCPS and 278% more likely to be arrested in school than their white peers.”

The training is designed to show teachers how to mediate conflicts without necessarily resorting to suspensions and expulsions. The money will be used to train two administrators, 30 teachers and two security assistants at each middle school as well as 75 district staff members for a total of about 1,400 people.

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