By: Noemi Colon
Peer mediation is both a program and a process. Peer mediation is used in many schools across the country and is proven to assist students resolve conflicts. Mediation is able to assist in reducing staff time spent on discipline, suspensions, and fights. Also, peer mediation empowers students to learn to resolve disputes by themselves. The goal of this program is to try to make students better people and problem solvers for future problems, conflicts or situations. The peer mediation team is comprised of the deans, assistant principals and students in Long Beach High School. The team works together to assist students in resolving conflicts.
For me, as a mediator, it is of great pleasure to be a part of the mediation program and to be able to help solve conflicts around the school. It definitely is a process, but it is a great process that really will impact and help many students around the school. From my experiences as a peer mediator, I have learned that mediation involves patience, understanding and empathy for those involved.
In this program, mediators were chosen specifically by guidance counselors, teachers, and deans. Upon accepting the position, the mediators took a training course on peer mediation. In the training, we were able to learn a variety of strategies for solving conflicts between people. We also learned important information about mediating problems in school, outside of school and in our personal lives. Peer mediators do not make decisions, but they work to resolve the conflict in a way where both parties feel comfortable.
Peer mediation has already has been put into action and has seen a great success. In one of the conflicts, I was able to work with two girls who had a great friendship. There were some things that were said behind backs, and two girls were hurt and angry at each other. They wanted to mediate the problem, so that is where I came in. Myself and another mediator spoke to these girls and they opened up, feelings were spilled, and emotions were expressed. In the end, we were able to help these two girls resolve their issues and strengthen their strategies for solving future problems. It was very success and I really feel like this program is going to make a difference in Long Beach High School.