The Federation Press

Restoring Safe School Communities

A whole school response to bullying, violence and alienation


Restoring Safe School Communities: a whole school response to bullying, violence and alienation introduces a whole school approach to addressing the problems of bullying and violence in schools. Author Brenda Morrison proposes a continuum of responsive and restorative practices for building safe school communities.

The first, most proactive, level of practices aims to develop all students’ social and emotional competencies, to enable students to resolve their differences in caring and respectful ways.

The second level of practices widens the circle of care around the participants. Typically this level of response occurs when the problem has become more protracted or has involved (and affected) a larger number of people, and involves other members of the school community stepping in to assist in the resolution of the conflict or concern.

The third and final level of practices involves the participation of an even wider cross-section of the school community, including parents, guardians, social workers, and others who have been affected. This tertiary level of intervention is normally only used for serious incidents within the school.

Morrison explains the thinking behind the suggested responses and shows how they can be implemented by practices such as a responsible citizen program and restorative justice circles and conferences.


This book represents educational innovation in the philosophy of restorative justice, an approach that enables us to be more responsive and more restorative to the needs of those affected by bullying and violence. The contribution of this book occurs both at the level of how to better meet the individual needs of students and how to transform institutions to accomplish this. It is path breaking in illuminating the hopes and hazards of the journey to building safe schools and communities.” - Professor John Braithwaite, Australian National University

Table of Contents

Introduction: Safe school communities
Bullying, violence and alienation
Alienation, shame and humiliation
Beyond ignorance, bandaids and zero tolerance
Restorative Justice
Responsive regulation
Practicing restorative justice in schools: The evidence
Responsive implementation, sustainability and development: A regulatory framework
Reflections and revelations on being responsive and restorative
Appendix 1: Principles of restorative justice: As applied in a school setting
Appendix 2: Responsible citizenship program: Building respect, consideration and participation in schools


Of interest...