Talking circles create a safe space where everyone can be heard one at a time. They are designed to bring healing and understanding, empowering those affected to be involved in deciding what is to be done and addressing underlying problems that may have led to the issue.
Participation in a circle is voluntary. Participants typically speak as they pass a “talking piece” around the circle. Each circle is led by a “keeper”, who directs the movement of the talking piece. In reaching these goals, the circle process builds on the values of respect, honesty, listening, truth, and sharing. Circles can be done in reaction to a situation or proactively as a professional development or skill-building activity in schools.
Mediations are facilitated by a trusted community volunteer, not a school representative. These sessions are typically held at school with the consent of the school officials and parents, but the community volunteer mediator is a non-biased party.
THE MEDIATION PROCESS WILL INCLUDE:
+ An opportunity for all students to be heard
+ Identification of issues to be resolved in mediation
+ Generation of possible solutions
+ Entering into an agreement on how to move forward, if students desire
+ Will help the parties generate possible solutions and assist the students in reaching decisions that are acceptable to all.
+ May determine during the mediation that a separate meeting with one or more of the students is necessary and appropriate.
+ Will not solve the conflict, express an opinion on who is right or wrong, or make decisions for the parties.
Let’s Talk representatives can work with you to come up with the best program to meet your needs, such as teacher training, all-school trainings to teach positive conflict resolution and more.