Tag Archives: Eileen Sinett

Suspension? or Restorative Justice

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Guest post by Eileen Sinett for the website Not in Our Town Princeton. 

On April 12, 2018, at John Witherspoon Middle School, Dr. Anne Gregory of Rutgers University shared her research on restorative justice.  Restorative justice is an alternative method of treating students who are perceived to be defiant, disrespectful, and insubordinate. Instead of punishment in the form of suspension, restorative justice focuses on social and emotional learning as an attempt to improve and correct student behavior.  Rather than “exiling” a student through suspension, restorative justice helps students understand their thoughts and behavior, the harm it may cost others, and the healing that’s necessary to remain in school and to learn. The students confront their mistakes, are held accountable and are more likely to remain in school to graduate.

Dr. Gregory shared data showing that students with repeated suspensions are 20% less likely to graduate from high school or go to college and 3 times more likely to get in trouble with the police. Traditional disciplinary methods involving suspension and other punitive measures tend to support the “school to prison pipeline.”

The two groups most at risk for repeated school suspension are Black males and students with disabilities, both male and female.  In one study, teachers were asked to observe a video of a preschool class and determine which children were more likely become troublemakers.  The teachers wore glasses with eye-tracking software, allowing researchers to track eye movements.  The study showed that the observers tracked Black children more than White children, even though no disruptive behavior was demonstrated by any of the children. The experiment revealed implicit racial bias on the part of the teacher/observers.

There is evidence that restorative justice programs are helping students stay in school and become more active and engaged learners.  Developing social awareness, relationship skills, responsible decision-making, self-awareness (including implicit bias), and self-management (regulating emotions) for both staff and students are keys to the success of restorative justice.

Interventions involve Community Building Circles, where students and staff share vulnerabilities and have their voice heard. More intensive interventions involve restorative dialogue and re-entry circles. The goals are similar, to build trust and community, be supported emotionally and socially, make informed decisions, stay in the school system, and become better students.

Like all new initiatives, restorative justice programs have their problems. However, having committed leadership, staff training and prioritizing relationships over rules, and self-management over suspension are critical to success.

Reported by Eileen Sinett for the website Not in Our Town Princeton. 

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Plainsboro partner: Eileen N. Sinett

Speaking That Connects, owned by Eileen  N. Sinett, was named Small Business of the Year at today’s beileen insidereakfast held by the Plainsboro Business Partnership, part of the Princeton Regional Chamber. “Well deserved” was the often-heard kudo for the former chairman of the PBP who coaches professionals and corporate teams to enhance their communication and presentation performance and dedicates Monday nights to facilitating a Conversational ESL group at Plainsboro Public Library.

Mayor Peter Cantu spoke, and though you’ll get better detail from Vincent Xu in the next edition of West Windsor-Plainsboro News, here are some of the facts I was surprised to learn:

  • More than 50 percent of the township is open space
  • Plainsboro has an record-holding tax collection record– 99.6 percent, contributing to its AAA bond rating
  • Child care and assisted living centers will break ground near the hospital this year, and a 300-unit senior housing development i planned.
  • Forrestal Village, ever struggling, could get 395 apartments with a “unique design.”
  • New retailers will be Panera, Five Guys, and a pet supply store but alas — no grocery store is imminent.
  • Eight major companies have earned the state Good Neighbor award, with Sandoz the most recent.
  • Gym rats rejoice, a 25,000 foot health spa is going through the approval process.

And — considering that Plainsboro ranks 5th nationally in “diversity” (translated, that means a population that is not primarily Caucasian) — it’s not surprising that the newest addition to the athletic scene will be a regulation cricket field. According to one sports reporter, cricket is the new soccer. A  “capital commitment” has been made and, meanwhile, the next nearest field seems to be in North Brunswick. 

 

 

 

 

Words, not slides

EileenSinett_colorIn presentation circles, telling stories is the new black. Eileen Sinett presents a July 24 workshop, on how storytelling makes us more effective speakers.

As a journalist, i helped tell stories of accomplishments and life lessons, but it’s even better when folks can learn to tell their own. Everyone has at least one fabulous story that needs to be told.

U.S. 1’s Diccon Hyatt explains in this article. Tell stories with words, not slides.

This just in from my friend Eileen. . . . 

Please join us on June 10 to market your business at this business showcase. Become a sponsor or reserve a table, and share this email with friends and business network groups.

With your support and a little help from my friends, this year’s event will be a truly memorable success. Thanks!

Regards,  

 

Eileen N. Sinett

Chair, Plainsboro Business Partnership
CEO, Speaking that Connects

      Click Here for Sponsor & Table Registration Form

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