“The Person is Not the Problem…the Problem is the Problem,” stated Mary Kindig and Dan Sackheim, keynoters at the June 27th Third Annual Catholic School Principals’ Institute, a program of the Ethics Center and the SCU Department of Education, in collaboration with the Diocese of San Jose.
Kindig has a masters in social work from Columbia University and is Program Development Consultant with the Restorative Schools Vision Project. Sackheim is a consultant for the California Department of Education. The speakers explored a number of key concepts surrounding restorative justice, primarily focusing on the three distinct stakeholders in a scenario where harm has been done: the community, the offender, and the victim(s). Harm, in this context, is defined as bullying, incidents of violence or acting out, or any disruptive behaviors by students from kindergarten age and up.
The restorative approach essentially focuses on understanding the harm done, and developing empathy for both the harmed and the harmer; reintegrating the harmer back into the community as a valuable contributing member; and implementing customized systems into schools such as planning, training, and focus groups, all of which recognize parents, students, teachers, and potentially clergy as key players and decision makers. It also focuses on greater accountability on the part of the school and the community when an act of harm has taken place, and innovative and interactive models as solutions.
Kindig and Sackheim identified challenges such as the role of parents, teachers, and clergy in healing and moving forward; the role social media plays both in exacerbating incidents and potentially providing healing (by replacing negative posts with positive ones); and how to best embrace new and progressive definitions of discipline, self-discipline, and forgiveness. The challenges struck a cord with the audience of educators, many of whom had experienced or witnessed incidences of harm.
The speakers contrasted the restorative justice approach with a more traditional model. In the case of harm, the tradition approach would be to ask: What rules have been broken? Who broke them? What punishment do they deserve? The restorative model asks: Who has been hurt? What are their needs? Whose obligations are these?
What does the model for restorative justice in schools look like in action? Regularly healing circles in which all parties engage in healthy communication would be one example. Contracts between students, teachers, and administrators that describe acceptable behaviors are another. Finally, traditional disciplinary measures are still a fall-back option in some scenarios.
Mary Kindig serves as the Program Development Consultant for The Restorative Schools Vision Project, which brings restorative justice philosophy into schools as a solution to high rates of student expulsions and suspensions. Dan Sackheim is Education Program Consultant, California Department of Education.
Graduating SCU senior Aven Satre-Meloy is the winner of the 2013 Markkula Prize, honoring the student who, in the view of the Ethics Center staff, has advanced the mission of the Center most effectively during the past year.
A combined Political Science and Environmental Studies major from Helena, Mont., Satre-Meloy addressed an ethical oddity at Santa Clara: The University aims to educate students of character and has an academic integrity policy but does not have the higher profile commitment to academic integrity that comes with having an honor code. Aven took the preceding years' efforts by students to adopt an honor code and advanced the cause miles down the road with his extraordinary efforts this year. He worked extensively with his peers; co-chaired a university-wide committee that completed a draft of an honor code; and spoke before pretty much every important governance committee on this campus (and I know they were not always easy meetings). Aven's grace under pressure and drive have brought us to the brink of actually adopting such a code -- a matter that looks like it will be decided finally in the next academic year.
Satre-Meloy also was the winner of the University's Nobili Medal, awarded to the male undergraduate judged outstanding in academic performance, personal character, school activities, and constructive contribution to the University.
Your chance to ask questions for 2 special guests we welcome to the Center this week! Joining Executive Director Kirk Hanson (center) is Fr. Jerry Cavanaugh, (right), Distinguished Visiting Scholar, who will be here through Wednesday to serve as a resource and advisor. Fr. Jerry is the Charles T. Fisher III Chair of Business Ethics and Professor of Management at University of Detroit Mercy. In addition to many distinguished academic honors, he served on the Board of Trustees at SCU for 10 years. At left is Distinguished Visiting Scholar Thomas Reese, S.J., currently a senior research fellow at Georgetown University's Woodstock Theological Center. Read more about Thomas here.
Irina Raicu, the Center's Manager of Internet Ethics, recently published “Powering the Search for More Women in Tech.” Her article uses Google's Keynote Address, presented by Larry Page at its recent "I/0 2013 Developer's Conference," as a platform to explore the ongoing challenge of recruiting and retaining women into technology fields. It also suggests that the U.S. learn best practices from China, India, Russia, and Eastern European countries, which continuously produce higher numbers of engineers than the U.S. Despite Google's efforts to offer internships, scholarships, and other incentive programs for women, Page's admission at I/0 2013 that he and Sergey Brin had been working on this “particular problem forever,” highlights the long road ahead for recruiting women into tech, as well as the need to end sexism and gender stereotypes.
Executive Director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics Kirk Hanson was interviewed yesterday on ABC7 regarding social media and privacy. The issue has been in the headlines recently as a result of the disclosures by Edward Snowden, former intelligence contractor turned whisteblower. Hanson told reporter David Louie that there needs to be a national debate on government surveillance and how it will affect society.
Carrie Jaffe-Pickett joins the Ethics Center as assistant director of communications. She will manage the Center's social media, in addition to writing and editing for the Center's publications and website.
Welcome to Ryan F. Holmes, the Ethics Center's new assistant director of health care ethics. Holmes coordinates the Center's Health Care Ethics Internship program. His other responsibilities include ethics consultation and policy development with the Center's hospital partners.
New media do a better job of living up to traditional journalistic values than predecessor media, such as newspapers and TV, according to Sue Gardner, executive director of Wikimedia Foundation. Gardner made her remarks at the 2013 Digital Journalism Ethics Roundtable, sponsored by the Ethics Center.
On all measures--quality, relevance, timeliness, fairness, accuracy, objectivity, utility, and depth-- today's digital information is superior, Gardner argued, particularly in the case of depth, as evidenced by the 27 million articles offered by Wikipedia.
The Ethics Center congratulates student fellows and workers Aven Satre-Meloy, Alexis Babb, and Alexandria LeeNatali, SCU seniors who won prestigious University awards on the occasion of their graduation.
As a Hackworth Fellow at the Ethics Center, Satre-Meloy worked on developing a student honor code for the University. An environmental studies major, he was selected for the Nobili Medal, awarded to the male graduate judged outstanding in academic performance, personal character, school activities, and constructive contribution to the University. After graduation, he will travel to Turkey on a Fulbright Grant to teach English and American culture to university students, and conduct research on Turkish peoples' experiences as Muslims living in secular, democratic state where a religiously conservative party is currently in power.
Hackworth Business Ethics Fellow Alexis Babb was named Outstanding Student Entrepreneur by the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Leavey School of Business. At the Center, Babb interviewed SCU alums about the ethical dilemmas they had confronted in business and turned those narratives into case studies. Having started her first business--creating and selling napkin rings--at age 10, Babb continued her entrepreneurial spirit at SCU, serving as chairwoman and coordinating the Made With Love Craft Show, which earned more than $1,700 for the charity Rebekah Children's Services in Gilroy, Calif. She also helped to start a new SCU chapter of Strive For College, where SCU students mentor low-income high school students. During her two-year term, Alexis recruited over 35 mentors and helped 98 students in two high schools.
Alexandria Leenatali, who worked on the Center's Big Q project, an online dialog on ethics for undergraduates, won a Richard J. Riordan Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to service through her work with the marginalized and under-served populations outside of the University community.
Approximately 30 Biol171 students presented an educational and informative Poster Session this morning, sponsored by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, the Bioengineering Department, and the University Honors Program. Their assignment, given by instructors Margaret McLean and Leilani Miller, was to select a biotech topic and present the ethical issues and concerns it raises. Topics with titles such as "Gene Patenting: Research Incentive or Inhibitor?" "Perfect Babies: Living in a Genetic Playground," and "Creating the Automated HIV Detective" illustrated the scope and diversity of the projects. The Poster Session, now in its 11th year, drew a large crowd of faculty and students, and fulfills the STS (Science, Technology, and Society) core curriculum requirement at SCU.
"Not only do we want students to understand these technologies," stated Professor Miller, "but to understand how technology affects the world, and ultimately, how to make the world a better place."