Book Description

Review 'Bottom line? UNBROKEN CIRCLES FOR SCHOOLS, despite its simple title, is one of the most important and thought-provoking books I've ever read on any subject. More nonfiction books should be like this. ? Grade: A.' ? - Reviewed by Barb Caffrey for Shiny Book Review (Republished on'Unbroken Circles for Schools may be the most important book available to address school violence and bullying.' ? - Dr. Samuel R. Staley, Award-winning Author, Senior Research Fellow at Reason Foundation and Managing Director of the DeVoe L. Moore Center at Florida State '...Ken Johnson is clearly very educated in this subject and goes into depth very intricately, providing tips, scenarios, and examples for most - if not all - of his points, allowing for easy understanding and implementation in the future. I also believe that this book could be used, not just in the form of educational instruction for institutions, but by parents, educators, and anyone else who is interested in smoothing out their conflict management skills. I could see this being applied to businesses as well.' ? - Reviewed by Katelyn Hensel for Readers' Favorite'That's exactly what this book is: a free, democratic voice of addressing the pathologies of the current US reality, criticizing the systems' logic and functions, and suggesting a flexible school program that may lead to change the punitive attitudes and the stereotypes of how we perceive and deal with the conflicts in school settings. And this is done in a very successful way.' ? - Prof. Vasso Artinopoulou, in the Internet Journal of Restorative Justice Read more From the Author In the news, on an daily basis, we are bombarded byunreal events taking place in our society: a child is arrested for using atater tot as a toy gun, another is arrested for drawing a picture. Peoplejustify these events, saying they are handling out of control children in lightof the many school shootings amplified by the news media. Often, the scope andharms caused by such frivolous arrests and the struggles children are facingtoday go unreported.?I've seen this American 'War on Youth'both in the public school system and in the criminal justice system. The US arrestswell over two million students a year. Nearly half of American families, withchildren in the home, are underemployed and unable to meet basic needs.Low-income children are at heightened risk for abuse, neglect, substance abuse,witnessing domestic violence, incarceration, and potential suicide. Thisdoesn't address the host of mental and physical health issues they may possiblysuffer from. American underemployment is one of the biggest and mostunderreported, public health issues of our era. ?In many communities, including my own, the numberof homeless and parentless children has grown disproportionately over the lastfour decades. These children often seek out friends with the hope of sleepingon the couch for a night, taking a warm shower, and eating a hot meal. Thistrend is so popular, the term 'couch surfing' has been coined torepresent such cases.?Using my experience and training, both as amediator and Restorative Justice Facilitator, I wrote Unbroken Circles forSchools as a way for communities to take back their school systems. Withmeaningful educational reform measures that address the critical issues ofwillful defiance, bullying, dropout prevention, child abuse/neglect, poorstudent performance, improving civic behavior. I wanted the book to bemulti-functional as a reference guide for community organizations and schools andalso a companion text for colleges and universities teaching Restorative Justiceclasses. ?When writing this book, I knew I needed to show howschools could gain time and money back, both critical issues. I also needed toback up my ideas with sound research. Additionally, I wanted to make a plan ofaction malleable to the needs and issues of each school and district using thebook's suggestions.?It has been a long time in the making, but I canhonestly say Unbroken Circles for Schools has accomplished every goal I identifiedwhen I first set pen to paper. Unlike many other Alternative Dispute Resolutionbooks on the market, it takes a serious look into the true conflicts thatchildren are facing in America. It sheds light on the School-to-PrisonPipeline, the 7,000 student a day dropout rate, the $209,000 per student socialservices cost payout, and more. Backed up by sound research, it offers easy tofollow solutions giving power back to educators, while giving communities a sayonce more in how their children are educated. Moreover, students are given avoice and are empowered so they may serve a critical role in resolving crucialissues presently plaguing our youth and educational system.?Easy to follow, it offers a series of programswhich can be used individually or in conjunction with each other. These programsrange from daily classroom circles to peer mediation to conferences to panelsto full-blown justice circles using a Collaborative Justice mindset. This meansa school in DC can use one style derived from the book, and another school inMemphis can adopt a different set of procedures. Honolulu can adopt a thirdprogram, and yet, all schools using the book gain benefits and positiveresponses.?Broken into two sections, the first half of the booktakes the reader from basic conceptual understandings to a complete rundown ofhow the practices should optimally work in a given school environment. Thesecond half of the book follows suit with knowledgeable insights into how usersshould best implement, run, review, and adjust for issues. Throughout the book,full-color diagrams, role playing scenarios, sample lesson plans and templateforms are offered as a way to reinforce ideas, facilitate learning, and assistearly-stage implementation of the policies and procedures espoused in thisbook. Read more See all Editorial Reviews