Virtue-Based Restorative Discipline (VBRD) is a program developed in the Archdiocese of Saint Louis by the Director of School Climate, Lynne Lang. St. Rita School is currently the only school in the Archdiocese of Louisville to participate in the VBRD initiative. Derived from restorative justice practices, Virtue-Based Restorative Discipline has several premises that guide its approach:

  • People make mistakes and need an opportunity to make up for the harm done and return to full acceptance in a community.
  • Everyone in a restorative system must commit to being positive, which means dwelling on the positive rather than the negative.
  • Virtue is the positive aspect of harm and needs to be taught and developed.
  • Prayer must be a part of discipline in a Catholic environment.

By implementing VBRD, we are not waiting for a problem to start. This lays a foundation for life, helping students understand the virtues and develop a firm disposition to the good. It also helps them recognize the impact of their behavior on their relationship with others and with God. It’s addressing the root cause of the problem to promote systemic change. The entire school participates in weekly class meetings where students are educated on the virtue focus of the month and are also given a safe environment to air grievances against one another—which we believe to be a proactive approach to discipline.

Schools that practice VBRD are not “soft” on discipline. In fact, VBRD practices are often more time-consuming for all parties than traditional discipline consequences. The difference in Virtue-Based Restorative Discipline is that the emphasis is on the wrong-doer understanding the harm that has been done and taking active steps to right the wrong. While this does take more time initially, it is an approach that reduces repeated harm.

Please go to Lynne Lang’s website on VBRD for more information: www.virtuebase.com

Guiding Principles:

  • We will dedicate ourselves to living virtues.
  • We will support others in living virtues.
  • We will commit to constructive thoughts, words, and deeds.
  • When faced with challenges or conflict, we will find solutions that cultivate virtues for ourselves and for one another.

Our virtue of focus for the 2017-2018 school year:

September: Charity
October: Friendship
November: Courtesy
December: Purity
January: Fortitude
February: Prudence
March: Respect
April: Forgiveness
May: Responsibility

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