Programs Target Student Violence Conflict-Resolution and Mediation Efforts Spread to Schools across the Country

By Keith Henderson, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, July 18, 1994 | Go to article overview

Programs Target Student Violence Conflict-Resolution and Mediation Efforts Spread to Schools across the Country


Keith Henderson, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


MOST parents have tried to get their children to talk out differences instead of fight over them. It's a lesson that typically requires patience, time, and repetition, and it's one that schools are increasingly taking up as well, impelled by the growing violence among American youth.

In the worlds of elementary and secondary education, the effort to replace violence with reason usually comes under the headings of conflict resolution and mediation. A number of nonprofit organizations around the country prepare curricula or study guides used in many public schools. People active in the field estimate that 5,000 programs have been set up in school districts throughout the United States, reaching hundreds of thousands of children.

The approaches of these programs may vary somewhat, but the goal is constant: to instill the "skills" needed to settle disputes before they turn violent.

Irene Cooper-Basch, of the Community Board Program in San Francisco, says her agency helps set up separate classes in mediation at the elementary-school level, while middle and high schools often work the materials into their regular course work. "Whatever works for that school," is the basic guideline, Ms. Cooper-Basch says. "We try to help students hear the other side of the story," she explains, and learn "anger management."

The Community Board's "conflict manager curricula" is also used in juvenile-detention centers in California and New Mexico. The whole state of West Virginia has adopted their "model."

The Washington-based Center to Prevent Handgun Violence is another agency active in the field. Its STAR (Straight Talk About Risks) curriculum is used in 29 school districts, including some of the biggest, such as New York's and Miami's. There's a "tremendous waiting list" of schools that want the program, says Gwen Fitzgerald, the center's associate director of communication.

"We try to make it as interactive as possible," says Ms. Fitzgerald. Skits, role playing, and discussions are used. "We're trying to give them skills in recognizing situations that lead to violence, and the importance of talking with someone, or turning and walking away instead of lashing out...." A fundamental message of the program, Fitzgerald adds, is "that guns don't make you safe." Middle school is a particular focus, she says, in order to reach kids before weapon-carrying and violence become ingrained.

The National Association for Mediation in Education (NAME), based in Amherst, Mass., describes itself as a "clearinghouse" for information on how to start violence-prevention programs in schools. Among its approaches is a "school-based mediation model" designed to involve teachers, students, administrators, and eventually parents in mediation training. NAME also offers a curriculum called "law-related education" that teaches the concepts of fairness and due process.

Annette Townley, NAME's director, says that the recently passed federal Safe Schools Act should give added impulse to mediation programs. The federal crime bill, still under debate, may also include measures that encourage such programs in schools. Ms. Townley has some concern, however, that educators may view violence-prevention as the "latest fad," rather than an enduring commitment. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Programs Target Student Violence Conflict-Resolution and Mediation Efforts Spread to Schools across the Country
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.