Rationale

For Peer Mediation

Mediation is a process for resolving disputes and conflicts in which a neutral third party (or parties) act(s) as a moderator for the process. In mediation, the goal is to work out differences in a positive, healthy way. 
 
In the school setting, mediation provides students and administrations with an alternative to traditional disciplinary practices. Students involved in this process, either as mediators or disputants, learn a new way of handling conflict.

In mediation, trained students help their classmates identify the problems behind the conflicts and to find solutions. Peer mediation is not about finding who is right or wrong. Instead, students are encouraged to move beyond the immediate conflict and learn how to get along with each other - an important skill in today's world. Peer mediators ask the disputing students to tell their stories and ask questions for clarification. The mediators help the students identify ways to solve the conflict.

In mediation, students who have been thoroughly trained help their classmates identify the problems behind the conflicts and to find solutions. Peer mediation is not about finding who is right or wrong. Instead, students are encouraged to move beyond the immediate conflict and learn how to get along with each other, which is a vitally important skill in today's world. Peer mediators ask the disputing students to tell their stories and ask questions for clarification. The mediators help the students identify ways to solve the conflict.

A key component to any mediation process is letting each student tell his or her own story and then to feel as if someone understands his/her perspective. As mediator Nate Johnson noted, "Just knowing someone understands really reduces the tension in mediation."

Not every kind of problem is suitable for peer mediation, For example, assault or other criminal activities are usually not referred to a school's mediation program. Common situations involving name-calling, rumors, bumping into students in the hallways, rumors, and bullying have been successfully resolved through peer mediation.

Peer mediation could be a extremely important tool in helping today's schools reduce the violence among students and create happier, healthier adults.