Graduation Year

Spring 2014

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis



Reader 1

Roberta Espinoza

Reader 2

Gilda Ochoa

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© 2014 Brian Robbins


This thesis begins with an introduction and methodology that presents two major research questions: “Can restorative justice exist within a zero-tolerance framework,” and, “What are the challenges that stand in the way of implementing restorative justice ideologies fully at Glenside High School?” The author provides an autobiographical statement to give context to his positionality within this research. A comprehensive literature review highlights a brief history of restorative justice, a description of the harmful effects of punitive discipline, and results from different communities that have implemented restorative justice. The three major respondents are introduced in order to provide context to their positionality within this research. The author presents his research findings based on qualitative field notes from site visits to a public, Southern California high school in addition to responses from interviews with teachers and a restorative justice expert. The author concludes by arguing for the implementation of restorative justice in a widespread manner in individual schools, in addition to comprehensive teacher training in pre-professional programs for prospective teachers and the need to shift from “teach to the test” ideologies to holistic student development pedagogies.