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Lewiston High School club awarded grant money to make changes in disciplinary training

The Restorative Justice Committee at Lewiston High School is hoping to help improve student-teacher relationships. (WGME)

LEWISTON (WGME) -- A Lewiston High School club won a large grant to implement changes to their school’s disciplinary training.

A handful of Lewiston High School seniors are hoping to change how detentions are handed out at the school, and according to a grant, their idea is worth thousands.

"Last year we started talking about something we want to fix in our school,” Fadimatou Latou, Lewiston High School student, said.

The Restorative Justice Committee at Lewiston High School is hoping to help improve student-teacher relationships.

“The teachers are willing to sit down with the student and talk about the problem instead of saying, ‘Here's detention, go to see the principal,’” Amino Aden, Lewiston High School student, said.

And the principal is on board.

“These girls have done a lot to challenge my own thinking and I think that's the place we want to be,” Lewiston High Principal Jake Langlais said.

The John T. Gorman Foundation recently award them $113,000 in grant money to make changes at their school, which includes training for teachers and students to reduce detention and suspension numbers.

"The students have been to a number of trainings; we actually have another training coming tomorrow. Students are participating in that, that training is in dialogues and circles, and using that,” Langlais said.

And they say it can do so much more.

"We are hoping that students in this school are willing to take a chance and try new things because restorative practice starts with the students. If they are willing to try something new, we're willing to do it for them,” Aden said.

The majority of the club are seniors, and they say they hope to continue to do work like this when they go to college.

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