High School Mediation Manual – Spanish Language Edition

This mediation training manual, developed by the Washington Heights Inwood Coalition Mediation Program, is the product of ten years experience teaching mediation skills to secondary students in New York. The school program worked mostly with Latino students, newcomers to the country. So the trainings have been in Spanish. The material and activities of this program are designed to prepare high school students as mediators. The basic mediation skills taught and practiced are the same as in adult training.  It updates and adapts the lessons and activities to the level of development and interests of students.

Cultivating Peace – Taking Action

This 66-page pdf is a curriculum packet developed for use in Canadian classrooms. “This resource encourages students to examine their own beliefs regarding the need for change in our world and their personal responsibility in taking action. The preconditions necessary for a culture of peace are explored through the examination of global issues in sustainable development, economic disparity, fair trade, human rights and consumerism. Students are given opportunities to explore the range of actions possible, the ways in which change occurs, the barriers to participation and the factors that support youth involvement. The resource includes a teacher’s guide, a video, a poster series and a student guide to taking action. It is designed for use in grades 10-12.”

The Dignity in Schools Campaign Model Code on Education and Dignity

The Dignity in Schools Campaign Model Code on Education and Dignity presents a set of recommended policies to schools, districts and legislators to help end school pushout and protect the human rights to education, dignity, participation and freedom from discrimination. The Code is the culmination of several years of research and dialogue with students, parents, educators, advocates and researchers who came together to envision a school system that supports all children and young people in reaching their full potential. Five chapters organize the 104 page document. They cover Education, Participation, Dignity, Freedom from Discrimination, and Monitoring and Accountability.

In October 2013, DSC released a new revised version of the Model Code, which includes new sections on: social and emotional learning, prevention and response to bullying behavior, reducing tickets and summonses issued in school, reducing racial disparities in discipline through culturally responsive classroom management, creating safe schools for LGBTQ students and other topics. A community toolkit was also created to help groups make good use of the Model Code. It is available separately.

A Generation Later: What We’ve Learned about Zero Tolerance in Schools

Zero tolerance discipline policies that mandate suspension or expulsion of students for misconduct have gained tremendous momentum over the past 25 years while also inviting deep controversy. With A Generation Later: What We’ve Learned about Zero Tolerance in Schools, Vera’s Center on Youth Justice looks at existing research about whether zero tolerance discipline policies make schools more orderly or safe, if out-of-school suspension or expulsion leads to greater involvement in the juvenile justice and criminal justice systems, and what effect these policies can have on a young person’s future. It concludes that, a generation after the rise of these policies and practices, neither schools nor young people have benefited. Fortunately, as described in the report, promising alternatives to zero tolerance can safely keep young people where they belong — in school.

How We Can Fix School Discipline Toolkit

The 77-page ‘How We Can Fix School Discipline Toolkit’ contains step-by-step tools and real-life stories about implementing the alternatives to suspension and expulsion that are proven to keep students in school and learning, improve school climate and student behavior, allow teachers to teach more effectively, help administrators meet benchmarks, and keep communities from seeing many of their children ending up in the juvenile justice system. Alternative approaches featured include School-Wide Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support (SWPBIS), Restorative Justice or Restorative Practices, and Social Emotional Learning. The document is structured as follows:

1. Know the problem (pages 4-10)
2. Learn about alternatives from real-life examples (pages 11-48)
3. Advocate for Change (page 63)
4. Monitor progress (pages 68-70)
5. Get the word out (pages 64-67)
6. Contacts (pages 71-78)

A companion website is available at http://www.fixschooldiscipline.org. A video archive of a webinar introducing the toolkit is available at http://youtu.be/6PrCh0MiRZc

Digital Citizenship Poster for Middle and High School Classrooms

A poster targeting middle school and high school age youth that provides a flow chart to help students decide if sharing something (a photo for instance) online is appropriate or not. A larger poster is available for order – info at www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/middlehigh_poster

Gandhi’s Nonviolent Values and Skills

This 295-page guidebook, subtitled “A Violence Prevention Guidebook for High Schools”, is available online as a series of pdfs. It provides a basic methodology for proceeding from “awareness” through “concern” to “action” building on the ideas of nonviolent activist Mohandas Gandhi. The units in the Guidebook are designed to help teachers nurture in their youth and in themselves: 1) a disciplined mind – awareness – there are other ways of thinking and acting, you can control your feelings and thoughts, you have an important role to play in the world; 2) a compassionate heart – concern – becoming empathetic and deepening the desire to act on behalf of others; 3) a courageous hand – action – putting compassion into practice by standing with others in service and against the forces and forms of oppression/domination (social change); 4) a committed will – perseverance – pledging to be a doer of peace and a teacher of peace. It provides a pledge of nonviolence as a key element of the program that can be used in various settings.
The units include the following:
Unit 1: Introducing Gandhi and His Principles
Unit 2: Respect
Unit 3: Anger
Unit 4: Nonviolent Problem-Solving & Nonviolent Resistance
Unit 5: Making Amends & Forgiveness
Unit 6: Our Oneness with the Earth & Challenging Materialism
Unit 7: Courage & Solidarity: Overcoming Our Fears & Standing with Others Who Are Treated Unfairly
Unit 8: Courage: Challenging the -ISMS: Sexism, Racism, Nationalism & War

The Zone – Online Conflict Learning Module for Youth by Aik Saath

An interactive online learning module focusing on conflict and conflict resolution for young people of diverse backgrounds. Topics include the roots, the conflict, the effects and the resolution. Illustrated with animated storyboards and roll-over graphics.

Cultivating Peace in the 21st Century: Ready to Use Student Activities

This 60-page pdf is a lesson pack developed for use in Canadian classrooms. It consists of 7 distinct lessons “designed to actively engage secondary school students in the search for a deep understanding of the forces that can bring about tragedies such as the attack on the World Trade Center, and the means by which they can personally contribute to the ongoing search for peaceful coexistence. It provides teachers and administrators with concrete mechanisms for integrating peace education into the curriculum and the school environment.”