About Peer Mediation
What is Peer Mediation? Peer mediation or conflict mediation is a program which trains students to help their peers solve problems they are having with each other. They do this by following a structured process that allows mediators to listen to each disputant's side of the problem and help them work toward a solution. Two mediators work with two disputants in private. Once the mediators have helped each disputant explain their side of the story and they have expressed their feelings about the situation, both disputants suggest possible solutions. When both students have agreed on a solution, they sign an agreement that states what each person will do to end the conflict. Everything that disputants say in mediation is confidential, except for threats of violence, substance abuse or child abuse. Those things must be reported.
Why use Peer Mediation? Agreements made by students in conflict mediation last longer than those imposed on them by adults or those arrived at through other more violent means. It teaches students to solve disputes with words, and to listen to each other. Once disputes are settled this way, students spend less time out of class due to disciplinary action. They also are better able to concentrate in class once they are no longer thinking about the dispute they are having.
Does mediation work? If disputants want mediation to work for them, it will. They must keep up their end of the agreement signed in the mediation. Over 90% of all mediations solve the problem so that no further problems result between the two disputants, and over 95% of all mediations end in signed agreements.
How can a student request mediation? Students can sign up for mediation in the Counseling Office with the counseling secretary. They can also request one by talking with a counselor or administrator. Also, teachers can request that students mediate a dispute. Any student can be involved in mediation if they are willing and if they ask for help.
What do mediators say about mediation?
"Mediation helps kids talk things out effectively and comfortably in a more relaxed setting. We [mediators] guide them to solutions." - E.K.
"It [mediation] eliminates the option of fighting. By sitting down to talk in the mediation room students can calm down. On your own, you might get physical." - A.V.
"Most people don't know the proper technique to talk it out . . . mediators do." - J.R.
"When people talk, mediators listen!" - M.F.
Making New Friends
Every day our students choose to be positive about their school work, friends and family. We would like to encourage our students to make new friends in the new year. Suggestions:
- Sit beside someone different in the lunch room. Say hi and start a conversation.
- When a new student comes into your team, volunteer to show them around the school.
- Join in - Student Council, PTSA, Athletics, Ski Club
- Help another student carry a heavy project or clean their locker for the new year.
- Talk to another student about the book you have both read.
- Wear a smile every day - just like you wear shoes every day.
- Ask someone new to study with you for the next test in your classes.
- Have a positive attitude and make a few new friends everyday!