What is Palmer Peer Conferencing?
The Palmer Peer Conference process provides a safe, structured forum where those people most affected by a harmful event are able to sit down together and honestly and effectively address the impact of the incident. The Restorative Conference is coordinated by a trained Palmer High School staff facilitator and at least two student facilitators specifically trained in the process. The facilitators move the group through a scripted, supportive process which empowers all participants to:
· Safely express issues and concerns
· Explore the extent and variety of ways people have been affected by the harmful behavior
· Engage everyone in developing a meaningful “Agreement” which lists specific ways to begin the process of “healing the harm”
What are the goals of the process?
The goals are:
· To provide a safe opportunity to express genuine feelings, concerns, hurts, and apologies
· To increase awareness and understanding of the full impact of the harmful behavior
· To enhance the dignity and respect of all participants
· To empower everyone involved with the opportunity to play a significant role in “healing the harm”
· To develop an “agreement” to which all participants can sign and commit
· To affirm a strong sense of safety and care to the school community
· To provide a powerful learning experience
· To support “positive closure”
Who can ask for a conference?
Conferencing can be suggested by any Palmer student, staff member, or parent. Contact Lossie Ortiz, any member of the Administration team, or any member of the peer team to start the process. The conferences will be held on Tuesday morning, at lunch or after school.
Who are the members of the Palmer Peer Conferencing Team?
The members are students that were chosen by teachers because of their strong leadership skills and have been trained by professional facilitators in a twelve week course.
Who is involved in the Circle?
It is important to note that the Palmer Peer Conference process is strictly voluntary, so no one is pressured to participate. Typically, a conference lasts no more than one hour, and the participants include:
· The person(s) harmed
· The person(s) responsible for the harm and who willingly acknowledge responsibility for the incident
· Other people who have been impacted by the harm in some way and are willing to support the process