If you are involved in a conflict in an educational, institutional or school program, mediation is the state of the art, non- litigation method of problem solving and producing results. It is the most interactive, participatory and economical, method to resolve your dispute for the benefit and mutual advantage of all parties. Parents, teachers, disabled students,staff, administrators and employees and their conflicts are all able to be managed in a thorough various specialized processes to produce the most efficient results.
Educational institutions present their own set of challenged. Resolving conflict and preventing their recurrence is an ongoing situation as enrollment changes every year with students entering you program and graduating. In some cases staff is unionized and others not. Either way the proper integration between management, staff and students is a critical building block for the success of the educational process and the institution. Dispute prevention plans and training programs for the students, teachers, staff and administrations are particularly helpful in an environment that is constantly evolving. People want to learn about themselves and how they react to conflict and what they can do about preventing it.Mediation is above all else an education tool for those involved. Our program is structured in a methodical way to have listenin and learnig as the first steps of the process and then interaction and then decision making after the educational process has been analyse, understood and accepted.
Mediation in the educational setting can involve:
- School boards
There may be many other interested and active parties such as neighbors, friends, staff, and politicians that may need to have their issues effectively addressed and resolved for the long term success of an educational program.
We all recognize that the roots of community mediation can be found in community concerns to find better ways to resolve conflicts, and efforts to improve and complement the legal system. Families, citizens, neighbors, religious leaders, and communities became empowered, realizing that they could resolve many complaints and disputes on their own in their own community through mediation. Experimental community mediation programs using volunteer mediators began in the early 1970’s in several major cities. These proved to be so successful that hundreds of other programs were founded throughout the country in the following two decades. Community mediation programs now flourish throughout the United States.
On the most basic level school mediation involves, students among themselves, and students and teachers, and students with outside groups.Many community mediation programs believe that the sooner people learn basic problem solving and communication skills, the sooner they can solve their own problems and improve their relationships. Violence is dramatically affecting our children. According to, National Association of Community and Family Mediators, NACFM, it is estimated that 23% of the victims of assault, robbery and rape are between the ages of 12-17, although they account for less than 10% of the U.S. population. Much of this violence is perpetuated by young people. Thus, community mediation programs began school conflict resolution programs. Evaluations indicate impressive results. In one study, 90% of the teachers said they are more willing to let students take responsibility for solving their own conflicts. In another study, 80% of the student mediators agreed that the mediation process helped them to understand people with different views. Often, schools with mediation programs report an 80% reduction of office referrals of student problems; 80% reduction in student fighting; and 75% reduction of school suspensions.
Community mediation can often times be characterized by the use of trained corporate or community volunteers, liaisons and professionals where sponsorship may be provided private non-profit or public agency with a governing/advisory board. It is important to use to use mediators who represent the diversity of the community served as we feel that they can provide direct access of mediation to the public many times regardless of the ability to pay. We believe in the promotion of collaborative community relationships, the encouragement of public awareness, intervention during the early stages of the conflict, and the provision of an alternative to the judicial system at any stage of the conflict.
Along with most participants in educational institutions and local communities, we believe that mediation is a process of dispute resolution in which one or more impartial third parties intervenes in a conflict with the consent of the disputants and assists them in negotiating a consensual, informal agreement. Simply put, mediators provide a safe place for people involved in a conflict to talk freely and openly. The decision-making authority rests with the parties themselves. Through the mediation process, citizens learn how to improve their conflict resolution and communication skills so that the next time they encounter a problem, they can solve it on their own. A unique feature of mediation is that the process can transform disputants by creating a new understanding of other views to the situation and the realization that they can directly handle future disputes of this nature. Many of those involved in community mediation believe that the process empowers people to improve their social, personal, and professional interaction.
Community Mediation Program Statistics
According to the National Association of Community, NACFM, and Family Mediators, statistics tell part of the story in the great national growth of community mediation programs. Ten years ago, it is estimated that there were approximately 150 community mediation centers; today, it is estimated that there are more than 550.
Records from programs throughout the country demonstrate that 85% of mediations result in agreements between the disputants. Similarly, studies show that disputants uphold these agreements 90% of the time. As a testament to disputants’ high satisfaction with community mediation, a full 95% of participants indicate that they would use mediation again if a similar problem were to arise in the future. Community mediation programs are involved in a wide variety of disputes.
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