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3 Harv. Negot. L. Rev. 213 (1998)
Peer Mediation in Schools: Expectations and Evaluations

handle is hein.journals/haneg3 and id is 221 raw text is: Peer Mediation in Schools:
Expectations and Evaluations
William S. Haft & Elaine R. Weisst
'Saints should always be judged guilty until they are proved innocent,
but the tests that have to be applied to them are not, of course, the
same in all cases.'
Peer mediation has acquired almost saintly status in today's ele-
mentary, middle, and high schools. Thousands of schools across the
United States and around the world have implemented peer media-
tion programs of various shapes and sizes, with the expectation that
violence and suspensions will be reduced, school climate will improve,
and students will learn and take with them essential life skills. Re-
becca Iverson of the San Francisco Community Board's peer media-
tion program estimates that there are currently 8,500 peer mediation
programs in the U.S. alone.2 Richard Cohen of School Mediation As-
sociates (SMA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, guesses that now half
the teachers in the country have heard of peer mediation, whereas
t Elaine Weiss is a first year associate at Steptoe & Johnson, LLP in Washing-
ton, DC. William Haft is a law clerk for the Honorable Mary J. Mullarkey, Colorado
State Supreme Court. This Note was originally written as part of a fellowship with
the Harvard Negotiation Research Project through a generous grant from the Hewlett
Foundation. The authors are grateful for the contributions of Albie Davis, Melanie
Moore, Kathy Grant, Richard Cohen, Sarah Keeney, and the many student mediators
who shared with us their insight and excitement, with a special acknowledgment to
Robert Mnookin for his unlimited enthusiasm and support from the project's concep-
tion through its completion. We also would like to acknowledge the work of individu-
als like Nancy Grant, English High School, Boston, MA and John McCarty, Mission
High School, San Francisco, CA who are the driving force behind successful peer me-
diation programs.
1. George Orwell, Reflections on Gandhi, in A COLLECTION OF ESSAy'S 177
2. See Interview with Rebecca Iverson, San Francisco Community Board, in San
Francisco, CA (March 26, 1997).
In 1993, Annette Townley, executive director of the National Association for Me-
diation in Education (NAME), estimated that over 5,000 U.S. schools had some type of
conflict resolution program. See ASCD UPDATE, volume 35 no.10. [SWAT Year]


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