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‘It’s amazing’ | IPS teacher creates peer mediation team, reducing violence at school

‘It’s amazing’ | IPS teacher creates peer mediation team, reducing violence at school

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis middle school is teaching students how to resolve their problems without resorting to violence.

The program, created by one of the district’s staff educators, is already seeing big success.

The skills they’re learning are helping make a lifelong impact.

Inside Harshman Middle School, there’s a room that’s become a safe space for students who have been fighting to come together.

“You came to me and you told me the incident that happened and you didn’t want to do what?” asked Grover Edwards, a behavioral specialist at Harshman Middle School.

“Get into a fight,” a student replied.

“Get into a fight,” Edwards said, nodding in agreement.

Here, the students come to bring their beef to their classmates to help resolve the issue together.

“OK. Tell me your side of the story,” Edwards said, letting both sides of the students in a fight share what happened and what they’re doing to address the situation and resolve it without further issue.

Edwards helps guide the discussion, but it’s the peer mediators, fellow classmates, helping settle the score.

“Without them, there would be a lot of fights in Harshman,” said Mariela Nelson, a seventh-grade student at Harshman Middle School and a peer mediator.

“It’s a no-brainer. A no-brainer,” Edwards said.

Edwards established the peer mediation team at Harshman Middle School a little over a year ago to help cut down on conflicts in the classroom and in the community. The student-led group and the students in the fight are ready to assemble as soon as a problem pops up.

Read the complete article here.

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