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Peer Mediation

Dr. Anthony Bryant, Peer Mediator

The Peer Mediator: 

  •  providing instructions to students in the area of conflict resolution, anger management, anti-bullying and harassment so they can assist their peers
  • teachers peer mediation skills through, small/large group instruction 
  • mediates student/student conflicts to de-escalate situations
  • assist parents and students to resolve issues

What does the peer mediation process look like?

The peer mediation process is voluntary, confidential, informal, respectful and impartial. Most importantly, peer mediation puts conflict back into the hands of the students, giving them a sense of ownership of their problems, and creating within them an investment in collaborative resolution processes.

When a case is referred to peer mediation, the case will generally go through a basic intake/development process to determine if the conflict is appropriate for mediation and if the students referred are willing to participate in a peer mediation session. If the students agree to the participate, a session is scheduled that consists of the following steps:

  1. An agreement to mediate and a foundation of ground rules,
  2. The sharing of perspectives,
  3. Defining the problem,
  4. Generating and evaluating potential solutions, focusing on interests, rather than positions, and
  5. Composing and signing a written agreement.

Each participant will evaluate the peer mediation process at the conclusion of the session, and peer mediation program staff or coordinators will use these evaluations to follow up with students to address any questions/concerns and to, after a week or two, inquire into the durability of and satisfaction with the mediation agreement.

What kind of disputes can be resolved through peer mediation?

School-based peer mediation is most commonly used to help resolve issues that directly affect student relationships, such as:

  • School rumors/ gossip
  • Social networking and other Internet-based provocations
  • Dissolution of friendships or romantic relationships
  • Minor bullying/harassment
  • Cheating on schoolwork
  • Property theft
  • Vandalism
  • Confrontations that result from differences in race, culture, sexuality, religion, status, etc.

Not all conflict cases are appropriate for peer mediation. Case types that should be immediately referred to school counselors, administration and/or outside authorities, as each individual school’s policies dictate, include:

  • Drug abuse/possession
  • Weapon use/possession
  • Sexual, physical or emotional abuse/assault
  • Suicide threats or attempts
  • Any issue that might interfere with current or pending legal action or judicial rulings (such as restraining orders, etc.)

Additionally, if evidence or threats of abuse or any other indication of eminent danger to the safety of either participants or peer mediators emerges during the mediation session, students must be trained to immediately report such threats to the Program Coordinator or other designated school representative for proper handling.