PEER Review

Peer Facilitation Trains Students in Conflict Resolution


The Peer Facilitation class meets Monday-Friday during fifth period.

Sabastian Eddy, Staff Writer

When students have issues with one another that can’t seem to be resolved, the Peer Facilitation class is ready to step in.

Peer Facilitation is a class taught by social studies teacher Mr. Matthew Maiken, student assistance counselor Ms. Sheree Coffman, and guidance counselor Ms. Beth Kessler. This class, in which students can earn a social studies credit, trains students in mediation skills to resolve problems or conflicts.

“Class members use these skills to do mediation here at the high school,” said Maiken.

Students who are having issues with anything from bullying to disputes, can receive help from the Peer Facilitation class. A mediator is appointed to help resolve conflict amongst two students. Students needing assistance can talk to their guidance counselor or someone from the Peer Facilitation class, as well as fill out a form found in the Counseling Center or Main Office.

When not mediating issues between students, the class also helps out the community.

“Right now we’re doing an activity called Neighbors Helping Neighbors,” said senior Amanda Rose. “We basically adopt a bunch of families and bring gifts in for them because their parents can’t really give them the type of Christmas they want to give them.”

As well as being involved in the community, the class is also involved with other schools in the district.

“We do an anti-tobacco presentation for seventh and fourth graders, and anti-bullying skits and training in the elementary schools,” said Maiken.

Applications to be in class become available in February. Once applications are submitted, selected students receive an interview. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors can apply for Peer Facilitation, as the class is not open to freshmen. Additionally, each year, six students are chosen to become second-year peer teachers.

“I wanted to try and become a second-year peer teacher because I loved the class and the relationships you make with everyone in the class. It’s sad that everyone can’t return, but it’s definitely my favorite class I took in high school,” said senior Jacob Winchester, who was chosen as a second-year peer teacher.

Peer Facilitation continues to not only train mediators, but offer help to students as well.