Dom Baca

Colorado State University - 2021

Educate high schools on the Restorative Justice Disciplinary System

Project: For my project I will learn more about the inner workings of the Restorative Justice disciplinary system and use my knowledge to start by educating first my high school about this process and work to help the implement it. Then after I will begin to reach out to other schools and do the same so that way I may have a bigger impact. This in turn will be my way to combat racism and the school to prison pipeline by decreasing suspensions and law enforcement action taken against students. This, in the end, help create a better future for minority students through equality.

Inspiration: As a high school student I noticed that when going to a minority school and talking to members of my community my school was often seen as the ghetto or the bad school. I was always confused by this because my peers were such compassionate and loving people. I then began to notice where this ideology was coming from. It came from how the students reacted to being mistreated by the faculty of the school. This is what the community saw. This ideology became real for me when I was sitting in class one day. As I sat at my desk, I noticed a teacher put in a new policy in their class that I did not agree with. I began to question why the teacher put in this new policy. I also found loopholes and pointed them out to the teacher. Later that day, I was taken out of class by security which brought me to the assistant principal’s office and told that I was going to be suspended for being disrespectful and talking back to a teacher. This did not sit well with me because I was a 4.0 gpa student and was seen as one of the leaders of the school. Luckily, I managed to get out of the suspension. This situation had always seemed injust to me. The pure fact that I was almost suspended for asking a question that a teacher did not like came from how some of the teachers and administrators at the school views and mistreat the minority students. Now that I am in college I now see how that would have affected my ability to get into college and I realized that many students fall victim to this. I would like to now go back and discuss with the faculty how their treatment of the students is not only affecting them, but it is affecting the school’s reputation in the community. This is where I got my idea for my community engagement project. I want to stand up for the social justice of the students and show the faculty why what they are doing is wrong and how it can be improved.

Future Plans for Project: With my civic engagement project I plan to accomplish my goal of implementing a more equal and fair system for dealing with behavioral issues. If I could spread this ideology to schools all through out the Colorado area I know I will have an impact on the improvement of the lives of minority students.