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Restoring relationships in the classroom

Grand Blanc Academy held a two day workshop this summer to help teachers learn ways to implement restorative practices into their classrooms.

It's not the first thing we think about when it comes to the new school year but discipline in the classroom is a must.

The U.S. Department of Education says in 2012 more than 3 million students were suspended.

Michigan is trying to lower that number through a new movement called restorative practices.

It aims to create relationships and teach empathy and social skills.

Grand Blanc Academy held a two day workshop this summer to help teachers learn ways to implement this into their classrooms.

Superintendent Patty Wood supports the movement and says suspensions only hurt the student in the long run.

"The student goes home and does not learn any consquences from their behavior," she said. "Plus the academic skills aren't being taught or achieved at the level they should be because they're not in school when they need to be."

Wood says restoratve practices helps students look deeper into their actions.

"What can we teach you or teach our students coping mechanisims and the empathy of, 'oh if I do this' or 'if I say this" it's going to hurt another person," she said.

Right now, Michigan requires schools to explore restorative practices before other forms of discipline.

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