As Cincinnati grapples with youth violence, educators work to mend broken relationships

A teacher at heart, the principal of Lighthouse High School, Daniel Trujillo, compares the missteps of young people to math problems. “Students learn to correct mistakes. You make a mistake in math, you learn to correct it to correct mistakes in relationships,” Trujillo said. “We might say something we didn’t mean, to offend the other person. How can we make it right?” it is, because usually the intention was not the result of the effect,” he said. Take a misguided joke, for example – a joke that hurts someone’s feelings. If left unaddressed and there are no excuses, things can go awry in a second split. “Because when people come out and think their intention is bad, then it’s a lot easier to hurt that person,” Trujillo said. Easter weekend saw parties, even a trip to the mall, explode into violence in three mass shootings – one in Pittsburgh and two in South Carolina. “On some level, it’s kind of terrifying. I can’t take it back,” Trujillo said. This is where restorative practices come in – to rebuild relationships before they implode for little or no reason. “Restorative practice is the best way to defuse and improve relationships within communities,” Trujillo said. “There’s a lot of anecdotal stuff that happens when people start talking, and they’re like, ‘That’s what made the difference. This is what is happening. And it works. with children because what could have been an act of violence ends up not happening. But he said research shows that restorative practices have a positive impact on a school’s culture.

A teacher at heart, the principal of Lighthouse High School, Daniel Trujillo, compares the youth’s missteps to math problems.

“Students learn to fix mistakes. You make a mistake in math, you learn to fix it. They also learn to fix mistakes in relationships,” Trujillo said. “We might say something we didn’t mean to say, to offend the other person. How can we fix things? »

Trujillo said doing things right is at the heart of what are called restorative practices.

“Restorative practice is always about getting it right, because usually the intention is not the result of the effect,” he said.

Take a misguided joke, for example – a joke that hurts someone’s feelings.

If left unaddressed and there are no excuses, things can go wrong in a split second.

“Because when people come out and think their intention is bad, it’s a lot easier to hurt that person,” Trujillo said.

The Easter holiday weekend saw parties, even a trip to the mall, explode into violence in three mass shootings – one in Pittsburgh and two in South Carolina.

“On some level it’s kind of terrifying. You know, it’s that we have young people, you know, who are hurting themselves in violent ways, in ways that you can’t take back,” Trujillo said. .

This is where restorative practices come in – to rebuild relationships before they implode for little or no reason.

“Restorative practice is the best way to defuse and improve relationships within communities,” Trujillo said. “There’s a lot of anecdotal things that happen when people start talking, and they’re like, ‘This is what made the difference. This is what’s happening. And it’s working.'”

Trujillo said it’s difficult to specifically measure the benefits of intervening with children because what might have been an act of violence ends up not happening. But he said research shows that restorative practices have a positive impact on a school’s culture.

Maria D. Ervin