Restorative services can be successful alternatives to exclusionary disciplinary measures such as suspension and expulsion. Restorative services resolve disputes between students, school staff and students and families, build community and foster engagement.
A Proactive Approach
Students, teachers, and administrators face increasingly complex issues in our inclusive world. Conflict can escalate and lead to punitive disciplinary measures such as suspension and expulsion. Our goal is to help participants understand and resolve relational and practical questions before conflict escalates and becomes a disciplinary or legal matter.
The Process and Promise of Mediation
Mediation provides a safe environment for students to work through sensitive issues in an open and honest way. In mediation, each person has a voice at the table, and participates in creating any agreement reached. Our goal is to empower youth through self-determination and responsibility.
Conflict Resolution Center uses trained mediators to provide services to organizations, both public and private, as well as to individuals.
Issues Appropriate for Mediation:
- Students in conflict: Mediate conflicts between students, students and staff, and families before the conflict escalate and students are facing disciplinary measures
- Attendance Issues: Mediation is often an effective way to discuss and understand the “why” of a student’s attendance gaps, as well as a means of deciding how to formulate a plan for meeting appropriate attendance goals.
- Students Facing Suspension or Expulsion: Mediation can help arrive at alternatives to suspending or expelling students by establishing expectations and consequences that will help them stay in school.
- Relationship Challenges: Mediation creates a safe space to discuss relationships between students, between students and staff, or among families.
Community Building Circles
Conflict Resolution Center provides Community Building Circles for students ages 11-18. Participants develop the physical, mental, and emotional habits of peacemaking. Circles are an alternative process of communication, based on traditional discussion and healing practices of indigenous peoples throughout the world. Circles bring people together in a way that creates trust, respect, intimacy, good will, belonging, generosity, mutuality and reciprocity. While circles have been adopted by many communities and have been adapted to serve many purposes, they share essential features:
- Everyone in the circle is equal and has equal opportunity to speak.
- Decisions are consensus based.
- Everyone agrees to abide by guidelines established by the group based on shared values, in order to work toward a common goal.
Circles intentionally create a space that lifts barriers between students, opening fresh possibilities for connection, collaboration and mutual understanding. Circles are culturally inclusive and foster engaged participation. Circles encourage individual and collective empowerment. Circles generally have two facilitators who guide the participants and maintain the circle as a safe space.
Conflict Resolution Instruction for Students, School Staff and Teachers
CRC offers a variety of customized training options to schools.
- Words Can Word: a ten module multi-lesson Conflict Resolution curriculum. The object of the Words Can Work program is to provide a group setting that models positive conflict resolution behaviors and provides discussion topics to enable youth to better understand conflict, understand themselves and each other in conflict, and be equipped with tools for constructively responding in conflict situations.
- Restorative Discipline
- Creating a problem solving classroom
- How to incorporate Mediation and Circles to resolve conflict in your school
- Brain science and youth
- Basic communication skills
- Conflict prevention
- Handling strong emotions
For more information about bringing Mediation, Circles, Conflict Resolution Education and Training to your school, contact CRC at 612-822-9883 or use the Request Training or Services button at the top of the page.