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[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Virtues-Based Restorative Discipline in Catholic Schools

Virtues-Based Restorative Discipline in Catholic Schools
There is a recent initiative, Virtues-Based Restorative Discipline, directed at Catholic school children across the country, which emanates from the Catholic Education Center at the Archdiocese of St. Louis. It is a program headed by Lynne Lang, the Director for School Climate at the St. Louis Catholic Education Center. The Virtues-based website explains: “The purpose of this model is to integrate virtue education and restorative discipline.”
This is a program that seems to focus on “bullying”. Historically, any bad behavior of students at Catholic schools has been handled by the school, which has rules and procedures for correcting unacceptable behavior, and for making some kind of restitution of any infraction of rules. If the bad behavior of the student warrants it, sometimes the parents are called to meet with school supervisors to remedy the behavior. But now,according to various resources posted on the Virtues-base site, including references to the  U. N. Fresno model program of Restorative Justice, a stranger, a mediator from the “community”, is interjected into the remedial equation. The parents, who are the “first educators” according to Catholic teaching, have already been relegated by schools to mere “stakeholders” in the student’s social, emotional, and behavioral upbringing. Now, the parents may have to give up even more of their parental authority to a community mediator or organizer.

                                                                Image result for images the United Nations Non Governmental Organization (NGO) Working Party on Restorative Justice

According to the Fresno model program, the “victim” and the “criminal” must come together face-to-face and agree on the solution, while insuring that the "dignity" of the perpetrator is maintained. Depending on the “crime”, could such a scenario cause trauma for the victim?  Is there a reason why a Heath expert has been chosen as a Director to head up the program?
Who will these mediators and "community experts" be to direct outcomes?  Will they be Mental Health experts (thought police?) well trained in concepts of “bullying” based on political correctness concepts regarding LBGT issues, gender identity and gay marriage? The program calls for measured outcomes (OBE), so pedagogy from behavioral psychologists and perhaps even “sex experts” has been incorporated into the program.
As with Common Core in Catholic schools, the “Virtues-Based Restorative Discipline” program has an overlay of Christian terminology such as “love”, “forgiveness” and “kindness” but, in essence, the model was conceived to deal with criminals in conjunction with the Criminal Justice Department.  
Other links on the Virtue-Based site of Ms. Lang further explain this initiative.  From the book, Discipline that Restores: Strategies to Create Respect, Cooperation and Responsibility in the Classroom  a picture of “restorative justice” emerges.  The fact that this program flows from the United Nations hardly qualifies it as a “Catholic” concept, Furthermore, from the report, Restorative Justice A Framework for Fresno, we learn that it draws from the Jewish Old testament and religions such as Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism. Can we then surmise that this program has syncretistic overtones?  
Based on the Fresno Victim Offender VORP Program model, Restorative Justice was set up to deal with criminals working primarily with churches and the criminal justice system. Here is their definition of Restorative Justice:

 “Victim-Offender Mediation Programs (VOMP), also known as Victim-Offender Reconciliation Programs (VORP) is a restorative justice approach that brings offender face-to-face with the victims of their crimes with the assistance of a trained mediator, usually a community volunteer." [Bolding added]
 Continuing to quote from the Fresno Framework report, it states:

 “Fresno has been a seedbed from which many restorative justice ideas have grown and flourished. The victim impact statement that pre-dated the use of restorative justice language was introduced in Fresno and is now used throughout the country. Fresno’s Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP), founded in 1982, was the first in California and many of its models, including the Community Justice Conference, have been duplicated throughout California, the United States, and the world. Restorative Justice Fundamental Principles were first written to provide guidance to the work of in Fresno County. In August, 1995, the United Nations Nongovernmental Organization (NGO) Working Party on Restorative Justice adopted the Fresno principles as a foundation for its work in international restorative justice.” [Bolding added]
What is the U.N.'s underlying philosophy of Restorative Justice? See page 13 of the report from the U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime’s handbook on Restorative Justice:
 “A response to crime that respects the dignity and equality of each person, builds understanding and promotes social harmony through the healing of victims, offenders and communities; A viable alternative in many cases to the formal criminal justice system and its stigmatizing effects on offenders; An approach that can be used in conjunction with traditional criminal justice processes and sanctions;”  
Curiously, this system is based on the reciprocal old Covenant concept to attain Jewish “Shalom”. It also cites other religions, but says nothing of the New Covenant established by our Savior, Jesus Christ. The Framework report speaks of “reciprocity”.

 The Fresno Framework says:
Covenant Justice The belief in covenant justice, arising from the Jewish Pentateuch and the Christian Old Testament, states that God had made a covenant with people implying a reciprocal responsibility and commitment. This covenant created the basis for a new society that would work towards shalom (living in right relationships with God and one another). Similar expressions of right relationships among people are expressed in the sacred writings of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Islam. Covenant justice makes things right, to build shalom by acting on behalf of those in need, to be concerned with needs, not merit. Justice is tested by the outcome, and process, for corrective discipline occurs in a context of constructive community, accompanied by a renewal of the covenant. Retribution is subordinate to shalom, which tempers and limits retributive justice.” [bolding added]

 Because the concept of “reciprocal responsibility and commitment" or “reciprocity” is included in the program, be aware of the definition of reciprocity:
 “In social psychologyreciprocity is a social rule that says people should repay, in kind, what another person has provided for them;[1] that is, people give back (reciprocate) the kind of treatment they have received from another.”

 Even more curious on one of the pages of Lang’s Virtue-based website there is a declaration that “Jesus specifically rejects ‘an eye for an eye”.  Is the Restorative Justice program in conflict with Catholic teaching?  

 The Catholic Church declared at the Council of Florence that Catholics are forbidden to observe the laws of the Old Testament - the Mosaic Law:  
 The Council of Florence, which took place between 1438 and 1445, infallibly decreed:
 It firmly believes, professes, and teaches that the matter pertaining to the law of the Old Testament, of the Mosaic law, which are divided into ceremonies, sacred rites, sacrifices, and sacraments, because they were established to signify something in the future, although they were suited to the divine worship at that time, after our Lord's coming had been signified by them, ceased, and the sacraments of the New Testament began; and that whoever, even after the passion, placed hope in these matters of the law and submitted himself to them as necessary for salvation, as if faith in Christ could not save without them, sinned mortally. Yet it does not deny that after the passion of Christ up to the promulgation of the Gospel they could have been observed until they were believed to be in no way necessary for salvation; but after the promulgation of the Gospel it asserts that they cannot be observed without the loss of eternal salvation. All, therefore, who after that time observe circumcision and the Sabbath and the other requirements of the law, it declares alien to the Christian faith and not in the least fit to participate in eternal salvation, unless someday they recover from these errors. Therefore, it commands all who glory in the name of Christian, at whatever time, before or after baptism, to cease entirely from circumcision, since, whether or not one places hope in it, it cannot be observed at all without the loss of eternal salvation.”
 The ruling of the Council of Florence should be carefully digested by all Catholics, and especially those who have become involved in Theocratic Reconstructionist and Dominionist Movements which embrace Mosaic Law and perhaps Noahide Law.
  RESTORATIVE JUSTICE AND OUTCOME BASED EDUCATION                                     
                                                                                             Image result for Images  Outcome Based Education
 The book entitled Discipline That Restores is also listed in the the resources pages of the virtue-based site. It states on page 6 that Restorative Justice is based on the pedagogy of Glasser, [William Glasser, psychologist associated with Mastery Learning -OBE and behavioral objectives], and Freire [Paulo Freire, Marxist Educator] .It names others, including Gordon. [the sex educator, Sol Gordon?].
A Mastery learning type of training to control behavior would explain why the Fresno Restorative justice plan calls for behavioral outcomes to be measured (and data-banked, no doubt.)
10. Restorative justice authorities provide oversight, assistance, and coercive backup when individuals are not cooperative. 11. Restorative justice is measured by its outcomes, not just its intentions. Do victims emerge from the restorative justice response feeling respected and safe? Are participants motivated and empowered to live constructive and civil lives? Are they living in the community in a way that demonstrates an acceptable balance of freedom and responsibility? Are responses by authorities, community, and individuals respectful, reasonable, and restorative for everyone? 12. Restorative justice recognizes and encourages the role of community organizations, including the education and faith communities, in teaching and establishing the moral and ethical standards that build up the community.”
Is the message above, “consensus or compromise of values”, to follow the dictates of the "community". Keep in mind that New Testament Christianity does not appear to be a part of the "Shalom" of Restorative Justice. Also, take note of the pending S1089 , described below, to create desired social outcomes for states and communities.
 Is it an exaggeration to say that unelected community organizers will be running the show? Are we witnessing the seeds of a monumental restructuring of communities and societies in America? The UN/Fresno agenda calls for authority and power to be removed from elected officials and placed in the hands of Community organizers as stated below:
 “Community justice means that the community has the first responsibility to maintain peace. This means a transfer of authority to the community from political and governmental agencies. Government agencies provide support and back-up to the community justice processes, but do not dominate them. Community justice is a subset of the larger restorative justice ideas."

Director Lynne Lang has developed teen material to accompany the Campaign for Love and Forgiveness through the Fetzer Institute.  One is seriously encouraged to visit web pages of the Fetzer Institute to understand their spiritual global outlook.
On the Fetzer “about us” page they say:
  “Our vision is a critical mass of people around the world embracing love as the guiding principle and animating force for living in sacred relationship with self, others, and the natural world. Our efforts are grounded by a conviction that the connection between the inner life of spirit and outer life of service and action in the world holds the key to lasting change. All Institute activities—past, present, and future—are united by a desire to help improve the human condition by increasing conscious awareness of the relationship between this inner and outer life.“ [Bolding added]
Does the above coincide with Catholic belief? There is no mention of a relationship with God or what is truly Sacred. On their “Work/Overview page they call for global spiritual transformation:
“A Spiritual Foundation for a Loving World  In our work to help build the spiritual foundation for a loving world, our goal is to help catalyze and support a broad-scale, spiritually grounded transformation from an ego-centered way of being grounded in separation and fear to an all-centered way of being grounded in oneness and love. Our vision is a critical mass of persons around the world embracing love as the guiding principle and animating force for living in sacred relationship with self, others, and the natural world. We see ourselves as a single node in an expansive web of individuals and organizations around the world who are engaged in this common work. Our contribution to this work includes four broad strategies: 
•  A new narrative strategy: contributing to a worldview that integrates a sophisticated scientific understanding of physical reality with deep spiritual understanding of the “something more” that binds us together in a deeply interconnected and sacred reality and calls us to a life of love
•  A movement-building strategy: accelerating the emergence of a powerful global movement for spiritual transformation
•  A spiritual communities strategy: supporting the emergence of new forms of inclusive spiritual communities, both within existing and emerging spiritual traditions
•  A science strategy: engaging science to maximize its contribution to the “new narrative” and to deepen our understanding of the factors that shape spiritual growth and development and our ability to love.
Are they proposing a global syncretistic spiritual transformation movement? Is it enhanced by their Religious Innovations program which states?
“Building on their previous publication, How We Gather, ter Kuile and Thurston draw parallels between innovative religious communities and their secular counterparts such as CrossFit and Camp Grounded and explore how these communities challenge some traditional boundaries around what might be considered “religious.” They extend a compelling invitation to established religious leaders to embrace their institutional transformation and meet the rising generation’s timeless yearning for meaning and belonging.”
When reading about Ms. Lang, note her background is in Health and Private/Public Partnerships, and then recall government involvement in Mental Health funding to private schools.
SEC. 5541. GRANTS FOR THE INTEGRATION OF SCHOOLS AND MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEMS.   (a) AUTHORIZATION- The Secretary is authorized to award grants to, or enter into contracts or cooperative agreements with, State educational agencies, local educational agencies, or Indian tribes, for the purpose of increasing student access to quality mental health care by developing innovative programs to link local school systems with the local mental health system
SEC. 5542. PROMOTION OF SCHOOL READINESS THROUGH EARLY CHILDHOOD EMOTIONAL AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT. (a) AUTHORIZATION- The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, may award grants (to be known as Foundations for Learning Grants') to local educational agencies, local councils, community-based organizations, and other public or nonprofit private entities to assist eligible children to become ready for school. [bolding added]
(b) APPLICATIONS- To be eligible to receive a grant under this section, a local educational agency, local council, community-based organization, or other public or nonprofit private entity, or a combination of such entities, shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and accompanied by such information as the Secretary may reasonably require."
There is also a resource book on brain research for Creating Emotionally Safe Schools listed at Director Lang's Virtues-based site
It appears that for a Catholic injection of Virtue to Restorative Justice, Benedict Groeschel’s The Virtue of Driven Life, published by Our Sunday Visitor is recommended.  
Ms. Lang has written a book to accompany the "training and implementation" for this program, but it is OFF LIMITS TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC WHICH, WOULD APPEAR TO INCLUDE PARENTS. The Introductory Primer by Lynne Lane for Implementing Virtue-Based Restorative Discipline: A Catholic Response to Bullying and Discipline is only available for schools receiving the VBRD training and implementation. What does VBRD training and implementation consist of?  Ms. Lang's book may be available at this site, or perhaps it can be obtained elsewhere by parents who want to know about how students are being trained in Restorative Justice. The ISBN number for Ms. Lang's bullying book is:  ISBN: 9781612787008.
There are other considerations that must accompany the above information.  All roads seem to be leading to control at the Community (Commune) level through Community Education and “decentralization”. Decentralization simply means top-down government control at the local community level. Could this have the potential of turning our whole system of Law and Order over to an unelected "Community"? The use of Public/Private partnerships in education, health, and community is vital to bring about this change to a Fascist/Communist form on governance. Please click on "Community Education...or 21st Century Communism" above and read this vital information.
In addition, there is a bill, S. 1089, pending in Congress.This bill creates a governance plan to set up desired social outcomes for state and local communities. Who writes the goals and outcomes? Are they written by non-elected committees and approved by the Federal government? A council for “control at the top” includes the President and his appointees.  It involves public/private partnerships. All outcomes are data-banked.
The following are excepts of S.1089: Call your Senator and say NO to this bill
“To encourage and support partnerships between the public and private sectors to improve our Nation’s social programs, and for other purposes.”
One important way to encourage more evidence-based policy is to incentivize state and local governments to pay for services that produce measurable positive social outcomes. Senate Bill S1089 – the Social Impact Partnership Act – does just that. The bipartisan bill cosponsored by U.S. Senators Hatch (R-UT), Bennet (D-CO), Ayotte (R-NH) and Booker (D-NJ), provides federal funding that state and local governments can leverage to implement evidence-based programs. The federal legislation would establish desired outcomes to our nation’s biggest social problems that, if achieved, would improve lives and save taxpayer dollars [Bolding added]

The bill states:
“(a) Notice.—Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this subtitle, the Secretary of the Treasury (referred to in this subtitle as the ‘Secretary’), in consultation with the Federal Interagency Council on Social Impact Partnerships (established by section 2056), shall publish in the Federal Register a request for proposals from States or local governments for social impact partnership projects in accordance with this section. [Who is writing these State and local proposals? Just like Common Core, will all states miraculously come up with the same standards because they have already been written by change agents?)
Federal Interagency Council on Social Impact Partnerships (in this section, referred to as the ‘Council’). The duties of the Council shall be to—
“(1) coordinate the efforts of social impact partnership projects funded by this subtitle;
“(2) advise and assist the Secretary in the development and implementation of such projects;
“(3) advise the Secretary on specific programmatic and policy matter related to such projects;
“(4) provide subject-matter expertise to the Secretary with regard to such projects;
“(5) ensure that each State or local government that has entered into a contract with the Secretary for a social impact partnership project under this subtitle and each evaluator selected by the head of the relevant agency under section 2055 has access to Federal administrative data to assist the State or local government and the evaluator in evaluating the performance and outcomes of the project;
 And as you consider all the above, remember to consider Obama’s Promise Neighborhoods and, Obama’s last act is to force suburbs to be less white and less wealthy.  All of these elements work together to change America forever.