Peer Mediation at north
Bloomington High School North Peer Mediation Program
Bloomington High School North has a “Peer Mediation Program.” This Program is run by Mrs. Waltz, who is also one of the health teachers at BHSN. The mediations are done by students at North who have gone through the correct training. “This program started six or seven years ago when the course was required, then dropped a year later. Two years ago it was brought back to Mrs. Anderson, and then when Mr. Henderson came he really supported starting the course up again.” said Mrs. Waltz. The program at North has really strived to be like Pike Township, which is a Mediation program here in Bloomington.
If you were thinking of getting involved with this program you could easily go about doing so. During the regular class scheduling time, there can be found forms located in the office that you need to fill out. On this form, you will be asked why you want to be involved in the program, what your grade point average is, and then a few questions that will show the teacher what kind of personality you have. Once you have filled out the form you turn it into Mrs. Waltz. Once it is in her hands she and her peer mediators scan the forms and decide which people are eligible and which are not.
People end up in a mediation session by someone requesting that person's being mediated. Anyone can request to be mediated or for someone else to be mediated. A teacher, a student, a friend, or a staff member can request this. Every week a mediator will put new mediation request slips in the main office for anyone to grab. Take one and fill it out by stating the problem and who the mediation needs to be between. After you have filled it out, then you turn it into Mrs. Waltz in room 502.
How it Works
During a mediation session there will be two mediators and all of those needing to be mediated. They will sit in desks with one desk in between each of them. This enables the students being mediated to easily reach each other if violence were to start. Then the mediators distribute themselves evenly between the group. The sessions start out with everyone introducing themselves, then one or both of the mediators will run over the rules. These rules are: everything said in this session is completely confidential, everyone must be respectful, and there will be no cussing, no name calling, no interrupting, and absolutely no hitting or violence of any sort. If you break any of these rules ,you get a foul. After 3 fouls the mediation session will be terminated. One at a time, each person will tell their side of the story. After all sides have been told the mediator will ask them simple questions that could lead to resolving the problem. Once the problem has been solved the people being mediated have to sign a contract saying that they agree to the standard that has been set for them. If they don't agree to the contract, then the mediatiors keep working until they find a compromise. If they can't find a compromise then it is out of Peer Mediation's hands and in the administrators', hands who will suspend or expel.
The school's mediation program deals with these types of conflicts: Relationship issues, bullying, harassments, arguing, jealousy, and friendship issues. Mediators are not allowed to solve any problems dealing with more serious things like rape, abuse, or anything that breaks any law, they have to immediately report the problem to Mrs. Waltz, who then reports it to the police.
Bloomington High School North's Peer Mediation Program is not only about mediating students at North. Just recently they have branched out into community service and a program called the W.R.A.P, which stands for Waltz's Wrap Around Program. Over Christmas, everyone involved with Peer Mediation adopts a family and brings each person in the family a few presents. These were families that had never experienced going downstairs to see a Christmas tree with presents underneath them. W.R.A.P. sponsored 8 families in the 2006-07 year. W.R.A.P students also work with students in Thursday school. W.R.A.P mediators pull kids out for 15 to 20 minutes and talk to them about why they are in this after-school detention. They record everything that was said and then the next week they do a follow-up on the students they had talked to the week before. They also offer themselves to help these students in any way possible.
The Peer Mediation Program at North has great potential and is growing each semester. Kids love being mediators and the mediators love helping their fellow students. If you would like to become a Peer Mediator or if you know anyone who is having problems in any of the areas listed above, don't hesitate to fill out a mediation form and turn it in to Mrs. Waltz in room 502.
Original Article By Lydia Woodcock
Edited by Ahasuerus