Northview students involved in the Peers Mediation program include, in the front row: Hannah VanHorn, Whitney Sampson, Jessica Lohrman, Jessica Booker, Daniel Pleake and Nebula Shultz. In the second row are: Danika Ennis, Katie Timberman, Chelsea Trackwell, Melissa Roberts, Monica Bowles, Jordan Pond, Luke Childs and Colleen Barr. In the third row are: Maggie Williams, Ahnya Alstott, Rachel Alstott, Kristen Latta, Alisha May, Abby Birkey, Sam Spencer, Brittany Stigler and Jessica Robertson.
By JESSICA BOOKER
Special to The Brazil Times
Northview High School is trying a different approach to conflict and discipline this school year. The program uses Peer Mediation to solve conflicts with select disputes. The program involves high school students who have been trained to help other students solve their own problems. The Peer Mediation program was developed in response to the Bullying and Harassment awareness week held in the past school year.
The mediation process starts with the conflicting students choosing mediation. It's an alternative to disciplinary actions, but more often it's used to defuse conflicts before they become serious. The students can be recommended by a teacher, fellow student, or they can recommend themselves before a serious conflict occurs. The conflicting students are then assigned to two mediators who help the disputants solve their own problem. The session is monitored by the coordinator Dava Boor and the information is kept confidential so more conflicts won't erupt.
The mediators are sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have been trained to deal with many situations. The students received training during their summer break at the Indiana State University Field Campus, and were required to attend two days of training before school started to study mediations and participate in mock mediations to experience how to deal with real life conflicts.
The information is kept confidential so the individual outcomes can't be disclosed, but so far the program seems to be working. Many conflicts have already been resolved. The students are becoming increasingly aware of the program and its success, and they have even started to recommend themselves for mediations. The whole purpose of the program was to decrease conflicts between students and raise awareness in the school and already improvement is showing.