By Jude Unrein ’23
At the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, Brophy employed an assistant dean, Mr. Brian Johnson.
The reason for not only creating this position, but hiring Mr. Johnson in particular, was to “Support students in their formation in a way that falls outside the lines of discipline or punitive consequences,” said Dean Austin Pidgeon ’08.
Brophy also wants to offer more support for students who are suffering from “more complicated and severe issues,” Mr. Pidgeon said.
“We want to build out our restorative justice programming and try to receive students when they make a mistake, but not just offer them a punitive consequence and hope that they learn their lesson, but rather walk with them, help them process, talk it through with them, take our time and make sure that students are learning from their mistakes and growing through them,” Mr. Pidgeon said.
Mr. Johnson spoke on what restorative justice means for him.
“The focus of restorative justice is building up a community and having healthy relationships…we want to create an expectation of inclusivity, we want to make sure everybody can find their place on campus,” Mr. Johnson said.
Mr. Pidgeon also spoke about the difference between restorative and punitive justice.
“Punitive consequences deal with the symptoms, while restorative consequences deal with the root causes behind those symptoms,” Mr. Pidgeon said.
“If a student was to have an infraction, we want to look for ways to repair those relationships, so if it’s something more individualized we want to work at ways and strategies to make sure that those situations or behaviors don’t repeat themselves, and if it’s something that involves a teacher we want to get them involved and we want the larger community of peers to have an understanding of one another’s needs,” Mr. Johnson said.