Mediation – Involves an outside third party helping two individuals or groups work through a disagreement peacefully. Mediation can serve as a means of improving communication between and among students, teachers, administrators, officers and parents.
1. A strong meditation program consists of four components:
a. Classroom seminars designed to generate campus-wide interest in mediation and to recruit cases.
b. Training of those interested in becoming mediators.
c. Actual mediation of intra-student, intra-family, and student-teacher conflicts by those who successfully complete the training.
d. Follow-up on all mediated cases to assess compliance and to offer additional service.
2. Some critical thinking skills for mediation include:
a. Defining and clarifying the problem.
b. Judging information related to the problem; distinguish between fact and opinion.
c. Solving problems and drawing conclusions.
What is Peer Mediation?
As typically practiced in schools, Peer mediation is a process by which a couple of trained student mediators:
a. listen to other students (whom we’ll call “disputants” who would otherwise have received a disciplinary/punitive referral, and
b. help the disputants create their own situations to the conflict.
What do mediators not do?
a. Mediators don’t provide the disputants with answers.
b. They don’t tell anyone what to do, or force anyone to apologize.
c. They certainly don’t punish.
d. They don’t report back to the teacher or the principal.
e. They just carry out the process and complete some simple, confidential report forms for the mediation coordinator.
Is Mediation Required?
Mediation is a voluntary alternative to traditionally punitive consequences. We use it only when the offense is serious enough that, if ignored, it would seem about to create a referral, but it hasn’t yet crossed that line. The intent of mediation rather than punishment is that disputants not only lose less class time, but also that they learn that they can handle most of the typical interpersonal problems on their own – without having to involve adults, and without getting themselves in bigger troubles. In a well-planned and implemented program, most disputants will come up with workable settlements. That doesn’t mean perfect. It means that the disputants felt that the process was fair and reasonable, and that the solutions work for them