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Word Count: 530
PEER MEDIATION Mediation is a process for resolving disputes and conflicts in which a neutral third party parties acts as a moderator for the process In mediation the goal is to workout differences constructively Mediation provides schools 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 and wrong Instead students are encouraged to move beyond the immediate conflict and learn how to get along with each other an important skill in todays 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 hisher perspective 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 schools mediation program Common situations involving name calling rumors bumping into students in the hallways and bullying have successfully resolved through peer mediation Several groups have specified a process for peer mediation The following lists illustrate the ground rules and the steps of the mediation process When both students agree to the ground rules the mediation can proceed Agree upon the ground rules Each student tells hisher story Verify the stories Discuss the stories Generate solutions Discuss solutions Select a solution
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