Peer mediation is a problem solving technique that was brought to the Worthington school district many years ago by Mr. Rich Besel. Scott Burns is the current faculty advisor for peer mediation at the middle school.
A small group of eighth graders who have demonstrated character and integrity over the course of their middle school career are asked to be mediators. The mediators are trained in a facilitated negotiation technique. Negotiators learn to be active listeners. They use questioning techniques to help the students explain to the other how they see the problem. They also use questioning techniques so that each student can empathize with the feelings the other person is experiencing in the situation.
Peer mediation helps students build better relationships. It also provides for a method whereby students solve their own problems instead of having an adult impose a solution.
The peer mediation program works closely with administrators, counselors, and teachers to help students resolve their conflicts.