Peer mediation is a method of conflict resolution being used from elementary through high schools across the United States. Selected students are trained as mediators to learn how to help their peers to resolve some of the day-to-day disputes that arise among them before they escalate into more serious, potentially violent situations.
When two or more students are involved in a conflict over name calling, friendships, teasing, boyfriend/girlfriend issues, rumors or similar matters, they may choose to work out the problem directly with the other person and have the meeting facilitated by peer mediators.
The disputants sit down with each other and the mediators and seek a resolution that is acceptable to all involved. All mediations are voluntary and confidential. The goal is to find a resolution, within school policy, that resolves the conflict to the disputants’ satisfaction.
What Are The Benefits Of Peer Mediation Programs?
For the Student Body:
- Become active in the problem-solving process
- Greater commitment to making solutions work
- Recognition that adult intervention is not always necessary
For Peer Mediators:
- Development of leadership
- Improved academic achievement and communication skills
- Gain proficiency in problem-solving techniques
- Increased self-esteem
For School Staff:
- Less time spent settling disputes between students
- Decreased pressure to be a constant disciplinarian
- Improved overall school climate
- Process carries over to home situations
- Conflicts in families may be resolved more effectively
- Youth with a new/different/positive attitude toward conflicts
- Reduction in violence in the school community
- Youth are more likely to resolve conflicts peacefully as adults
- Successful programs cost little money
- Peaceful solutions to conflicts often are less expensive