As American students enter the 2023-2024 school year, our educational system faces three interlocking crises: severe academic underperformance, rampant student misbehavior and an unprecedented teacher shortage.

While there are many components to each of these issues, one common thread linking and exacerbating them all is the turn toward so-called restorative justice in schools.

In contrast to traditional approaches to discipline, which rely on punishment to deter future misbehavior, restorative justice “encourages students to reflect on their transgressions and their root causes, talk about them — usually with the victims of the misbehavior — and try to make amends.”