- The Net Charter High School in New Orleans does not suspend students, instead resolving conflicts among students or between students and teachers before they have time to fester.
- The Hechinger Report writes academics often come second to emotional issues in a flexible learning environment that features student-led discussions more often than teacher lectures, no traditional grade levels, small class sizes and an open schedule where students can go to class anytime between 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.
- The Net teachers focus on negotiation and mediation in restorative justice circles that can last for hours, and while the model may not work in larger schools, it has helped small cohorts of struggling kids make it to graduation.
Restorative justice has replaced zero-tolerance discipline policies in schools around the country following evidence that tough discipline in schools sends primarily poor and minority students into the hands of the justice system. Efforts to close the resulting "school-to-prison pipeline" have included the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports program along with restorative justice.
The U.S. Department of Education released a report in July detailing the rise in state expenditures on corrections versus education, finding spending on public schools doubled from 1979-80 to 2012-13, while spending on corrections quadrupled. States still spend more than seven times as much on public schools than corrections, but advocates say investing in schools offers a way to address problems proactively.