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When Restorative Justice in Schools Works

PITTSFIELD, N.H.—When the freshman Hope Parent left her cellphone unattended at Pittsfield Middle High School, last year, her classmate Brandon Bojarsky saw his chance for a little fun.

Grabbing the device off a windowsill in their Spanish class, he quickly shot off a few obnoxious text messages to people in her contact list—including one to Hope’s mother.

By the time Hope figured out what Brandon had done, her phone battery had died. She couldn’t immediately follow up with people to tell them the unkind words hadn’t originated with her.

But even worse, her mother—who lives out of state—was deeply upset. Brandon had texted “I hate you” to her, particularly hurtful language at the time.