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Peace Ambassadors and African American Club: The Restorative Justice Circle

What’s a Restorative Justice Circle and how can it benefit MTHS?

Rose Ayar- February 25, 2020

Source: The MTHS Falcons’ Instagram @monroetwphs posted about this event, along with the Peace Ambassadors @mthspeaceambassadors. Students of both clubs, along with Mr.Murphy, are pictured.

Race in MTHS

Monroe Township High School is a fairly diverse school, yet the topic of race and ethnicity still prove to be an issue that sparks disrespect towards peers. Mrs. Ielpi, a guidance counselor and officer of non-discrimination in MTHS, worked together with Mr. Murphy, a teacher and advisor of the African American Club, to bring more attention to the school-wide tensions. On Thursday, February 20, both the Peace Ambassadors and American American Club members joined together to share their ideas regarding race in MTHS.

What Was Said?

The meeting was very successful in the eyes of both clubs, having a room full of students of all backgrounds come together to restore justice. During the after-school meeting led mainly by Mrs. Ielpi and Mr. Murphy, each student and teacher had an opportunity to share their opinions, views, and ideas about race in the learning environment.

The group was given multiple prompts over the course of the discussion that they could answer or elaborate on, including:

What does race mean to you? How does your race affect your daily life?

Do you ever feel conscious of your race in certain situations? What is one specific example of feeling conscious of your race?

Using these to guide the conversation, countless personal stories were told, upsetting instances were shared, and forward-thinking hopes were mentioned. Through this conversation, peers were able to empathize with one another and understand other perspectives of race in MTHS. It seemed as if everybody has experienced a negative instance regarding their race, yet many held a positive outlook on the importance of ethnicity and culture.

So how can we improve respect towards one another?

The Peace Ambassadors and African American Club hope to continue collaborating to spread the message of acceptance at MTHS. As for students, all it takes is a positive outlook and kindness to make a difference.

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