By David Seo
Photo by Hana Tyszka
Senior Staff Photographer
The peer mediation group at South Pasadena High School has recently received a designated class for the 2016-17 school year. Previously, the group was only able to meet in weekly morning meetings at 7:00 a.m. The class, a 7th period study hall, now allows members to plan events, build bonds between mediators, and continue training year round.
Officially known as the SPHS Peer Mediators, the organization has two main goals. Its first mission is to peacefully resolve conflict through peers helping each other find a solution to disagreements. The mediators provide a medium for students on campus to safely and confidentially speak about their issues with one another- a healthy alternative to ignoring them. Also, students with more serious disputes can choose peer mediation as opposed to disciplinary action, which often dismisses the original issue and does not address or fix the problem. Currently, the mediators’ main obstacle is lack of awareness of its organization.
“The fact is, not too many people on campus know what peer mediation is. We want people to feel comfortable to talk to our mediators, and we plan on opening up plenty of places to access referral forms,” advisor Ms. Ishimaru said.
The Peer Mediators’ second mission is to positively change campus culture. Throughout the 2015-16 school year, the group was able to follow through with some events that made an effort to do so. Most notably, they held a mental wellness week, when they educated people on maintaining a healthy state of mind. They also held weekly stress relief workshops, where mediators gave tips and tricks for managing classes and extracurriculars. As the 2016-17 school year continues, the mediators will carry on these happenings as well as introduce many exciting opportunities.
“This year we are bringing in an outside speaker from Active Minds to do a presentation at a school wide assembly in October,” Peer Mediators president Will Hoadley-Brill said. “We are also working with Mrs. Shires to plan out a TEDx salon, which will be very conversation-based.”