Iao School students participate in peer mediation

Iao Intermediate School is striving toward becoming a Restorative Practices school by developing peaceful warriors via a peer mediation program.

Iao is partnering with the nonprofit group NVCnextgen to install a systematic approach to teaching students how to resolve conflict through peer mediation and nonviolent communication.

This school year, 2018-19, Iao had its first Peer Mediation class and ongoing peer mediation sessions. By the end of third quarter, peer mediators held 68 peer mediation sessions, serving approximately 140 students. Each mediation session takes approximately one hour.

Hawkeye Lannis from NVCnextgen and Iao teacher Cynthia Van Kleef have been co-teaching the peer mediation class. They will continue teaching the class next year with four classes instead of one, thus expanding the program.

It has taken a team of individuals at the school to make peer mediation a reality. This team includes Sandra Hanson, Lynette Zakabi, Debra Weisz, Vice Principal Lora-Lee LaMarre and Principal Matt Dillon.

Up-and-coming peer mediators for school year 2019-20 attended a three-day peer mediation training workshop at the school.

Students who are mediators this year assisted in training and teaching this group of new mediators.

Lannis and Jodi Baygood from NVCnextgen led the training. Kihei Charter School had nine students attend the training.