Mediating Conflict – Moving from Enemy to Ally

Mediating Conflict, Moving from Enemy to Ally

When conflict moved from social media to the halls of Weaver High School, the school administration called our COMPASS Peacebuilders to mediate.

Our team’s goal was to keep the youth in school, avoid suspension, and make the school safer for students and staff.

The Peacebuilders began meeting individually with the youth involved in the situation. They asked the students to look at the big picture. Peacebuilders introduced the concept of “acting on your values.” Students discussed the importance of staying in school and graduating; fighting would only get them suspended.

Once our team felt it was safe, they brought the youth together in a Restorative Circle. Together the group built trust and worked through issues.

It wasn’t a one-and-done situation; the team met with the youth weekly throughout the school year. Understanding and trust don’t happen overnight. There were good days and challenging days, but our team is relentless.

Peacebuilder Anthony Pearl said he felt a shift when, during a restorative circle, a youth advocated for a young man in a rival gang, moving from enemy to ally.

Read more about how COMPASS Peacebuilders help Hartford’s youth