By Colleen Flanagan, Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows News
A new conflict resolution program offering an alternative to suspension is being piloted at three SD42 schools.
Teachers at Highland Park and Harry Hooge elementary schools, as well as students and teachers at Westview secondary school, have been trained in the new Restorative Justice Program thanks to Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Community Services that received a $9,000 Civil Forfeiture grant to put towards the initiative.
The program started on Oct. 25 with two sessions based on Community Justice Institute trainings called Talking Peace and Conversation Peace.
Around 20 students and 10 school district personnel at Westview received 28 hours of training where they learned to articulate and apply the principals of restorative justice, reflect on their use of a variety of conflict management styles, demonstrate key communication and listening skills, facilitate dialogue between students in conflict, discern when a case require a higher level of intervention and learn how to create an environment where there are open conversations where victims feel empowered.