Youth and Schools
Conflict Resolution Training teaches children and teens to understand themselves and others in conflict. Some of the topics explored include understanding and identifying emotions and how they influence conflict responses, how to self-manage until they are more able to respond to conflict well, to identify strategies that help them become calmer and clearer, as well as develop listening and speaking skills to communicate and understand the other’s point of view. Some examples include training for:
- 2nd and 4th grade students at their elementary school,
- Teens who mentor younger children in an after school program,
- 4th and 5th grade students in an after school program.
The Mediation Center works with schools to develop comprehensive mediation programs that include:
- Identifying goals and outcomes,
- Identifying and engaging stakeholders,
- Creating a team to plan and develop the program,
- Developing systems including referral, intake, mediation coordination,
- Training students to become mediators and providing continuing education,
- Providing on-going technical assistance.
Bullying will soon be addressed by a law in New York with the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) that takes effect in July, 2012. The Mediation Center is developing services that will assist schools in addressing bullying through prevention and intervention.
One service, Restorative Dialogue, will focus on repairing the harm caused when an incident occurs such as bullying. Restorative Justice is a concept that views wrongdoing as a violation of people and relationships and as a disruption of the purpose of the school community. It is designed to hold offenders accountable directly to the victims and communities harmed, give victims a voice about the impact of the harm and how to repair it.
Restorative Dialogue provides the opportunity to:
- Respond to a destructive incident in a constructive way,
- Hold students accountable to those harmed,
- Give those harmed a voice about its impact and how to repair the harm.
School Events are wonderful opportunities for the Mediation Center to educate the school community about conflict resolution, mediation services, as well as careers in the field. Centerstaff and mediators have participated in:
- Career fairs and Parent/Teacher Organization meetings,
- Career Day workshops,
- Superintendent day workshops.