ICAR to Host 13th Annual Peer Mediation Conference

Posted: March 14, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

An estimated 2,000 participants from more than 100 schools are expected to attend the 13th annual Northern Virginia Regional Student Mediation hosted by George Mason’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR). Tomorrow and Wednesday, March 16, on the Fairfax Campus, high school students, teachers, counselors, parents, and community volunteers will learn skills and strategies to help make their schools safe and respectful learning environments.

The conference emphasizes conflict resolution skills and offers workshops to explore how student mediators can utilize their skills in mediation, communication, teamwork, listening, trust, respect, and anger management to guide their peers toward the peaceful resolution of conflict. The workshops range from introductory to highly advanced and offer 10 different tracks.

An improv troupe from Fairfax will create a conflict scenario that allows students to share conflict-solving strategies. Speakers at the conference will include Jack Dale, superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools, tomorrow, and Brad Draeger, deputy superintendent, on Wednesday. Susan Hirsch, director of the undergraduate program at ICAR, will address the group both days.

The Pathways to Peace conference is sponsored by ICAR and Fairfax County Public Schools in cooperation with Arlington County Public Schools, Fairfax County Department of Family Services, Fairfax County Office of Partnerships, The Northern Virginia Mediation Service, and the Young Lawyers Conference. Public school systems in the Cities of Alexandria and Manassas, Washington, D.C., and Loudoun and Prince William Counties are also participating.

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