Guilford County Schools Peer Mediation Programs equips and empowers students to become change agents. Change agents with the ability to positively impact individual student behavior as well overall school climates.
School climate is important to note, as the Center for Social and Emotional Education’s School Climate Research Summary suggests that "Safe, caring, participatory and responsive school climate tends to foster great attachment to school as well as providing the optional foundation for social, emotional and academic learning (Blum, et. al., 2002; Osterman, 2000). One of the fundamentally important dimensions of school climate is relational and how "connected" people feel to one another in school (Center for Social and Emotional Education, p. 1).
Reasons students serve as peer mediators:
To help and serve my peers in a positive way (6th Grader).
To reinforce positive traits such as respect, patience, empathy, tolerance, the ability to resolve conflict peacefully (Peer Mediation Advisor).
To model ways to resolve conflict and make good decisions (8th Grader).
To positively impact the climate of my school (8th Grader).
To help people learn from their mistakes and help them learn what not to do (7th Grader).
To be a leader and help others resolve conflict (7th Grader).
What is mediation? The act of mediating (working with conflicted parties), intervention, attempt to bring about a peaceful settlement between disputants through a neutral party (American Heritage Dictionary).
What is peer mediation? Peer mediation is a voluntary process in which a student trained as a neutral third party helps other students in conflict get clear about their concerns, better understand one another, and come to a mutual agreement about how they want to handle their issues (Peace Studies Program, University of Maine, and Maine Law & Civics Education).
What is conflict? A dispute or disagreement between two or more people. Conflict is a natural and necessary part of life (Conflict Resolution the Middle School). However, it's how one handles or responds to conflict that makes the difference.
What is conflict resolution? Solving the problems created by conflict situations (Conflict Resolution the Middle School).