From willful defiance to fighting, Jamal was in the office daily. Yet of all his 8th grade classes, Jamal never got into trouble in mine because I decided that I would not lose him on my watch. I grew up with too many kids like Jamal and knew far too well what could happen. As a student, I watched kids being taken out of school in handcuffs in 7th and 8th grade, and I knew that Jamal belonged in class and not suspended. Keeping kids like Jamal out of handcuffs and in class meant having courageous conversations with my students, refining my classroom management, and using discipline as a means to exercise restorative justice. Focusing on these key teacher actions, I could do my part to help eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline.