Countering violent extremism (CVE) continues to be a topic of national and international concern as well as media interest. In the field of CVE, educational institutions have an important role to play, but precisely how educators and policymakers should best respond to extremism within schools remains unclear. This article draws on interviews with multiple stakeholders implementing a small-scale nationally funded grant in Australian schools to guard against behaviours leading to violent extremism through developing restorative justice (RJ) practices. In foregrounding their accounts, we draw attention to the complexity of negotiating the CVE space by resisting dominant narratives that could be considered ‘exaggerations’ regarding both the manifestations of and motivations behind violent or extreme student behaviour. To conclude, we highlight how—in important ways—the money and resourcing allocated for CVE in local settings simply recycles what are already established to be best practices for fostering belonging and connection in schools, particularly in socio-economically disadvantaged communities.
- young people
- countering violent extremism (CVE)
- restorative justice (RJ)