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For spring 2014, participants read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Where Dignity is Part of the School Day," by Fania Davis.

The writing prompt:

"Describe a memorable example of when you or someone you know was disciplined at school. Was everyone given the chance to tell his or her story? Imagine you have the talking piece. What would you say to the teachers or school administrators involved about how the situation was handled? What would you say to teachers and school administrators in general to encourage them to treat all students with genuine dignity and respect?"

Our thanks to all the writers who submitted essays and congratulations to the winners below.



Reagan ElliffSpring 2014 Middle School Winner Reagan Elliff

Reagan Elliff is a student at the Wildflower Open Classroom in Chico, California. Read Reagan's essay about how her karate skills helped her classmate get the support he needed.

Spring 2014 High School Winner Simone Phillips

Simone Phillps is an incoming freshman at Fordham University in New York City, NY. Read Simone's essay that illustrates the unnecessary hardships caused by the injustice of the punitive system.


Spring 2014 College Winner Matt Flagg

Matt Flagg is a student at Cascadia Community College at Bothell, Washington. Read Matt's essay about the injustices a childhood friend endured and why he felt students didn't stand up for him.



Spring 2014 Powerful Voice Winner Kayla Rice

Kayla Rice is a student at the Peace and Justice Academy in Pasadena, California. Read Kayla's essay that provides an example of a situation that failed to properly use restorative justice and why that was harmful.


Spring 2014 Powerful Voice Winner Sohee Lee

Sohee Lee is a student at A.K. Academics. Read Sohee's essay that brings topics like ethnicity and self-confidence into the conversation of discipline and dignity.



Literary Gems QuillSpring 2014 Literary Gems

We received many powerful essays for the Winter 2014 Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.



Fania Davis' Response to the Spring 2014 Essay Winners

Fania Davis, co-founder and executive director of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth, responds to the winners of the Spring 2014 essay competition.




Stay tuned for the announcement of our next National Student Writing Competition prompt in early fall!

Read recent student essays


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