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Stories about kids, guns and how to stop the violence. Precious Lives, created by 371 Productions, is a 2-year, 100-part weekly radio series about gun violence and young people in the Milwaukee area. The series applies a public health lens to each story to help listeners understand the full scope of the problem: who are the victims and the shooters; how are the weapons obtained; and what can we change about the environment that contributes to violence in Milwaukee?

#064 Precious Lives: Restorative Justice Tool Empowers Students to Help Others

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Emily Forman
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Juniors Antonio Butler and Jade Bolden have been practicing circle keeping at Alliance since they were freshman. And they’ve both transformed through the process.";

At a small, public charter high school in Milwaukee, students practice circle keeping. The restorative justice tool gives students ownership over their own healing process.

A lot of the students at The Alliance School have been affected by gun violence and this tool has been making a difference.

English teacher Heather Sattler is the one who introduced circle keeping to the school. When it comes to applying the method, Sattler is relentless. She uses it to coax discussion in English class, to resolve conflicts between students and to support students who are struggling with internal conflict.

"I think one of the things that is really critical is to always ask people what they need and sometimes what’s needed most is just to be sad, be angry, to feel and just have someone witness that process," she says. "I’ve seen so many young people transform over time."

Like junior Jade Bolden. Bolden admits, she used to be the bully. "I was that kid [people] didn't have patience for," she says.

Now, Bolden can explain herself and sort through her emotions. She says the circle does help. "Just knowing that I'm not along when I go through certain things," she says. "I feel more put together, I understand myself a lot more."

Corresponding Content: 

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Circle-keeping program provides support for students

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