As Richard’s friends continue to grow angry with each No H8 event that takes place at Oakland High, Kaprice organizes a “restorative justice circle” between Richard’s friends and the faculty member who is “working with students to show support for Sasha.” The group begins with playful questions, but they quickly become serious. One student mentions Richard’s “hazel eyes” and Kaprice remembers how he calmed students in her office who were upset or worked up. One girl begins to cry. “He is so sweet,” she says. “And he’s such a young person facing such serious consequences.” The circle is a success. “All they wanted,” writes Slater, “was someone else to understand.”
Kaprice’s restorative justice circle is an example of the benefits of this approach, especially when adolescents are involved. The dialogue of this process allows participants to openly talk about their pain and grievances, which, in this case, leads to meaningful healing and closure. Instead of being angry and resentful, Richard’s friends have the chance to explain their feelings, which they likely would not have been able to do without Kaprice’s restorative justice circle.