Date of Award

Spring 3-2-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Tamerin Capellino, Ed.D

Second Advisor

Phil Pendley, Ed.D

Third Advisor

George Sziraki, Ed.D


Purpose: The purpose of this qualitative case study was to identify and describe the perceptions of high school students who attend school in one Northern California district who have implemented the proactive strategies of Restorative Justice Practices.

Methodology: This qualitative case study examined and described 18 high school students’ perceptions of Restorative Practice strategies used to develop and maintain trusting relationships on a high school campus. The researcher conducted 30 minute one on one interviews with each respondent that were picked using specific criteria.

Findings: Examination of qualitative data from the 18 students participating in this study indicated a variety of findings. Students perceived that Restorative Justice Practices: (a) build a sense of community in the classrooms, (b) help to establish emotional connections with teachers, (c) increase academic achievement and academic engagement, (d) make students feel valued and heard, (e) develop mutual respect between students and teachers, (f) improve behavior by the students, and (g) improve the mental health of students.

Conclusions: It was concluded that students thrive on connections from both their classmates and teachers, teachers must build relationships that exhibit caring and nurturing qualities in order to foster trust with students, students will learn and perform for those that they have made a connection with, students want to be active participants in their education and the environment around them, when students feel respected, they will give respect thus creating positive classroom, through the connections students make, they will be more thoughtful of who they are affecting with their behaviors thus resulting in positive decision making skills, and teachers need additional support when implementing Restorative Justice Practices.

Recommendations: Further research is recommended to include a more racially diverse population; to study student perceptions of the reactive strategies of Restorative Justice Practices; to compare the correlation of proactive Restorative Justice Practices and the number of disciplinary referrals for students whom are in classes in which proactive Restorative approaches are used and students whom are not; and to compare the perceptions of the teachers regarding Restorative Justice Practices to the perceptions of their own students and the use of these practices.