FBSMV partnered with Conflict Solutions Center to provide Conflict Mediation using a Restorative Approach. The focus of this program is to strengthen school safety, reduce daytime juvenile arrests and promote completion of the k-12 education.
The program objectives are to promote healing for the victims and to engage with offenders to establish accountability and responsibility for the consequences of their actions. Additionally, to support mediation and communication about how the conflict started and who was involved, encourage and facilitate appropriate consequences/reparation for offenders, and seek reconciliation between the victim and offender where possible. Finally, to equip the offender(s) with the tools necessary to resolve conflict and reintegrate back into school rather than face traditional school expulsion
- Righetti High School: There were five Conflict Mediation cases, which were referred by Discipline Administration. Of those five cases, none have had any further altercations or concerns on campus. All parties were interviewed individually and share their involvement, had accountability for their actions and were able to agree to have no further conflicts with one another. All were also offered service with any other conflicts they may have and expressed mediation was very helpful for them to have an opportunity to reflect on their actions to hear from those who were harmed in the incident.
Additionally, the Program Specialist met with 29 individuals who requested assistance from to help with conflict they were having with another/other student(s). With agreement from all parties involved, students were able to meet and discuss conflict and come to agreements to have no further conflict with each other. Only two of twenty-nine students experienced or were involved in further conflicts, which resulted in suspensions in April of 2016.
- Pioneer Valley High School: At Pioneer Valley High School, conflict mediations are referred by the assistant principle in charge of discipline. There have been seventeen Conflict Mediation cases for the school year. After mediation, the Program Specialist asks both students to come check in the two weeks after the mediation sessions are completed to see if they feel the conflict has been resolved as well as emphasizing the importance of speaking to an adult if they feel some tension with another student before it becomes verbal and or physical.
- Santa Maria High School: At Santa Maria High School, all conflicts are referred to the Assistant Principal who then meets with the students involved to determine the level of support required according to each student’s history. There have been forty-three referrals for conflict mediation with only one student not choosing to be a part of the sessions. The Program Specialist meets with all students involved in an effort to explain and discuss the concept of conflict resolution and the philosophy of restorative justice, if all involved are willing to work on a resolution we then meet in a group setting where each person can share their part and agree to resolve the conflict on campus as well as off campus and even on social media if necessary. The Program Specialist follows up with the students two-weeks after the conflict resolution session and offers additional support if any issues occur. Of the forty-three referrals, all were resolved and did not escalate any further.