Restorative Action Program for Schools

Trauma, conflict and violence are all too common in schools,
but they don’t have to be.

Parents and guardians often worry about their children’s safety, and teachers or school administrators want to find constructive ways of dealing with conflict, bullying and disciplinary problems. But, how can you reach that troubled student? Or teach kids to resolve disputes without resorting to harmful behaviour?

How can you deal with bullying in a way that kids can relate to? More than that, how can you build the essential life-skills they will need to navigate a lifetime of potential conflict; skills such as empathy, compassion, understanding and peaceful conflict-resolution?


Restorative Action in Schools: How Does it Work?

In 2000, when we began our partnership with the Langley School District, we wanted to explore how Restorative Justice principles could be applied throughout the local school system. How could we approach school discipline issues, harm reduction and anti-bullying strategies in a new and innovative way? How could we promote healing and accountability, instead of simply expelling a student or forcing the victim to change schools?

We knew that punishment wasn’t the solution. Parents and educators were seeking better strategies for addressing misbehavior. We needed a way to reach the underlying issues that cause the behaviour, so that we could address the root causes of harm. This resulted in the Restorative Action Program for Schools, a better way to help troubled students, who can be victims as much as they are offenders.

We also provide program support and resources, such as the Youth Black Book, a free guide for at-risk youth in the Fraser Valley, which provides helpful information about services available to them in their local community including health, counselling, violence prevention, employment and more.

Restorative action can be a game-changer.

Instead of the old punishment model, it seeks to support the victims as well as those who have done wrong. It’s not just about words. It’s about ACTION. Our program promotes dialogue, mediation, recognition of harm and accountability when harm has been done.

Through presentations and educational sessions, we teach about Restorative Action values. We offer programs aimed at educators and teachers, as well as others aimed at students, such as peer-mediation programs, where we teach youth to resolve conflicts through mediation and dialogue. See a more detailed description of our programs, by downloading a copy of our RAP Brochure.

Download your FREE copy of the Youth Black Book here.
Youth Black Book by Community Justice Initiatives Surrey BC

Do CJI’s Restorative Action Programs Really Help?

We can’t promise it will change things overnight. A huge shift in school culture can take years of hard work. But, ultimately, it can be life-changing, not just for individuals and those around them, but for the community at large. A restorative mindset can be applied not just during a child’s school years, but throughout their lives. It teaches youth how to interact with others in a positive, compassionate way and how to reduce and prevent conflicts, so they don’t progress into more serious crimes.

Just read some of the positive reviews our programs have received, not just from educators, but from students.

“My friends say I’m listening to them now,” a high-school student remarked. “They don’t know what’s happened to me!”

“(It’s) changed everything for me,” said a Grade 9 student. “Before this, we were these disconnected kids trying to show off and impress each other, but never being ‘real’. I felt depressed coming to school as you could never count on anyone and I didn’t know how to ask for support. I have to say we totally connected as a class through this and it feels like a little community of our own; a safe place to talk and be heard, no matter what you say. Sometimes we laugh but sometimes there are tears, but we support each other. This has been the best thing that has happened in high school for me.”

A school teacher even stated…

“I never really took the time to listen before without any personal agenda. I was amazed when the person thanked me for listening and said she had better clarity on how to solve her problem… when I hadn’t told her to do anything!”

Looking to get your students involved in the conflict-resolution process?

Here’s what students had to say about why they joined their schools’ Restorative Action Team.

Video Credits: Produced by Emma Mackie, Brookswood Secondary School Graduate, 2014


Want to learn more about implementing Restorative Action in schools?

CJI has recently published a book titled “Educating for Peacebuilding: Implementing Restorative Justice principles and practices in a school system” by Catherine Bargen.

It details the use of restorative action in schools and how it has brought about a positive culture change in school communities.

To purchase a copy of Educating for Peacebuilding,

Fill out our form Call 604.534.5515


We also believe in investing in youth! With the CJI Scholarship…

Do you know a Grade 12 student who is graduating this year?

CJI provides a scholarship to students in Langley. Students must be graduating in 2024 and be involved in their school’s Restorative Action Program (RAP).

Note: Applications are now open and the deadline for submissions is May 31, 2024.

For more information, visit our blog post here. Enquires can be sent via email at or phone 604.534.5515.

Want to help our scholarship grow?

We’re always looking for new contributors, especially for our CJI scholarship fund, which is entirely dependant on the support of people like you. Donations are made securely via PayPal. Donations of $25 or more, are eligible for a tax receipt.


CJI: Envisioning a World of Safe Spaces and Safe Schools …

We believe in the power of our school programs and our ultimate goal is to extend them beyond the Langley School District and to ensure that every child is familiar with Restorative Justice. We want them to graduate high-school with the acquired skills that will make them successful in life. We want them to know how to deal with conflict, because many situations can be healed or avoided through successful implementation of restorative action values.

And thanks to these sponsors, we can continue our goal to roll out these programs to every school district in Canada.

Thank you for your generous support!