CMI has had the privilege of helping high schools establish or strengthen peer mediation programs since 1995.During that time, we have witnessed the enormous positive impact the mediation training can have on individual participants and their respective school environments. Schools we work with consistently experience a dramatic increase in mediation utilization with a simultaneous decrease in conflicts requiring administrative intervention. Peer mediation programs in high schools are an extremely effective method to reduce verbal and physical conflict and to improve overall school climate. With the supervision of an adult advisor, trained students help other students to resolve conflicts peacefully. The CMI Peer Mediation Training Program empowers students to promote a more fair and equitable community at their school.
While a “typical” CMI peer mediation training is outlined below, all CMI training programs are customized to meet the exact needs of each school and always beginning with a program planning process.
In this model, we train approximately 15 to 20 students to become peer mediators at their school. The primary job of the peer mediators will be to help other students resolve their own conflicts. Peer mediators are not judges or figures of authority – they help students listen to each other in a safe, structured environment. In practice, peer mediators work in pairs with two students who are having a conflict, with an adult advisor nearby. The disputants are usually referred to peer mediation by a teacher or other school staff as a precursor to disciplinary action. Peer mediation is a structured process that requires mediators to have substantial training and practice.
In this model, CMI trains the students and their program advisors over the course of 2-3 school-day-long trainings. Once the training is complete, we help the program advisors develop and plan ongoing mediation practice, content, and structure.
The overall goal is to provide an effective conflict resolution resource within the school and positively impact school climate by:
- Preparing a core group of students to be peer mediators.
- Developing a successful and sustainable means for students to resolve conflicts peacefully.
- Impacting the entire student body by promoting student responsibility and empathy.
The trained peer mediators serve as an early intervention resource for conflict resolution within a school. When a conflict arises between two students, a teacher or staff member can refer the disputants to peer mediation. This means that the peer mediation program advisors will learn some basic information about the nature of the conflict. The program advisors then schedule a time for two peer mediators to work with the disputants. During the mediation, a program advisor will be in the room to ensure safety and comfort, but will allow the mediators to facilitate the mediation process.