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Safe Schools, Thriving Students: Fostering Restorative Practices and Safe and Supportive Communities

Hosted by the Learning Policy Institute and co-sponsored by AASA, The School Superintendents Association, and the Education Commission of the States
Guidance Counselor speaking with three students.

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this video belong solely to the speakers, and do not necessarily reflect the perspective of the Learning Policy Institute.

School shootings have been steadily rising in recent years, adding to other longstanding concerns about school safety, ranging from fights to bullying. As students begin the new school year, there is widespread agreement that addressing physical safety threats they may encounter at school should be a priority—something Congress signed off on last year with the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

But how we ensure safe schools is a hotly debated topic. Should schools purchase metal detectors, hire police, or even arm teachers? Should they double down on zero tolerance policies and tougher disciplinary penalties? Should they increase supports for counseling and social-emotional learning or introduce restorative practices? 

Growing evidence shows that the most effective way to improve school safety is by building supportive school communities that proactively protect against the perpetration of school violence. Speakers addressed the evidence on restorative practices—which provide an alternative to exclusionary discipline and can improve safety, student achievement, and mental health—and the conditions under which they work well. They drew from two recent Learning Policy Institute reports: Safe Schools, Thriving Students: What We Know About Creating Safe and Supportive Schools and Fostering Belonging, Transforming Schools: The Impact of Restorative Practices.


  • Senator Chris Murphy, Member, Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee
  • Tatiana Chaterji, Restorative Justice Facilitator, Oakland Unified School District
  • Linda Darling-Hammond, President, Learning Policy Institute
  • Sean Darling-Hammond, Assistant Professor of Community Health Sciences & Biostatistics, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Gerry House, Former President of the Institute for Student Achievement, Division of ETS (moderator)
  • Sarah Klevan, Senior Researcher, Learning Policy Institute
  • Pedro Noguera, Dean, University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education
  • Carolyne Quintana, Deputy Chancellor of Teaching and Learning, New York City Public Schools


This was the second webinar in a two-part series on creating schools that are both physically and psychologically safe for students and educators. Learn more and watch the first webinar in the series, School, District, State, and Federal Policy Lessons >>


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