Our pain teaches us. In the case of mental or physical illness, once a person is stabilized with medication and a therapeutic relationship, a patient can learn to rearrange their mental furniture in a way that greatly alleviates their suffering and their relationship to their suffering. If we are not allowed to feel our pain, even a fraction of it, we cannot work toward wholeness and learn about ourselves.
Our society is so pain-averse.
Restorative justice, in my opinion, is an opening to sharing our pain and the burden of co-existence in the midst of a public school educational system that in many ways contributes to mental health conditions through its arbitrariness and its inability to consistently meet the needs of the whole child, the whole teacher, and the whole administrator. I think that restorative justice is the way to grow compassion in public schools, and my hope is that it would make its way to academia and the professional world as well as our justice system.