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Peer mediation program grows at North Portland’s Roosevelt High School

Peer mediation program grows at North Portland’s Roosevelt High School

PORTLAND, Ore. (Portland Tribune) — A peer mediation program at Roosevelt found a home this school year after two years of growth.

Kiera Asay started a peer mediation class three years ago after the school’s student equity council advocated for peer mediation as a way to move “away from punitive discipline and towards a more restorative model for school-based conflict,” Asay said.

The program didn’t initially have a real classroom, instead moving in and out of offices or getting pushed into the basement. Participants only mediated a few conflicts in the first years, instead focusing on building awareness and trust with the rest of the school.

But last fall, the peer mediators found a home in a small, centrally-located classroom. Photos and bios of the peer mediators are plastered over a window into the classroom, showing students the classmates who have received training to help them resolve conflicts.

“It’s crucial for kids to have a safe space to express themselves and resolve conflict constructively, instead of just getting suspended or expelled,” said Uli Hernandez, a senior in the peer mediation program.

Read the complete article here.

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