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When to Mediate

During the development of the mediation option several constituencies asked "How do you know when to mediate?" A parent who had been through many levels of due process and litigation suggested a checklist which resulted in this brochure. Five of the six focus groups stated it was better to mediate early before situations got polarized and contentious; before relationships were perhaps irreparably harmed; before too much negativity, anger, frustration, or despair resulted.

How much is "too much"? That's for you and your colleagues interested in a particular student to decide. Families and educators are equal partners in this process. So, for one it may be "too much" at salary negotiation time and "too much" for another at retesting time. It's O.K. to admit another approach is needed. It's even recommended that families and schools work together - creatively and collaboratively.

Symptoms

So, how do you know when to try Mediation?

Or, how do you know when would be a good time to suggest mediation when talking with the school administrator, teacher, psychologist, bus driver, paraprofessional, OT, PT, nurse, etc.?

The following descriptions came from the mediation focus groups. When compiled they look like a possible list of "symptoms" for you to decide when "enough is enough", "this isn't working", it's "too much" from your perspective.

GENERAL DIRECTIONS: If you have felt or thought four (4) or more of the symptoms on the checklist in any combination for two (2) or more months while attempting to work out an issue, you may want to fill the prescription: call a mediation center for a second opinion. (Note: General Directions were developed by absolute whim of the brochure creator.)

Checklist

traumatized
concerned
poor
divided
hard to determine
frustrated
defensive
powerless
left holding the bag
lack of understanding
two sided
one-sided
mediocre
dissatisfied
slow, delay
distrust
irritated
poor communication
not good
deadlocked
confused
unfocused
disgusted
put out
anxious
impatient
depressed
inconvenienced
don't understand
fruitless
confused
long, drawn out
conflict
mad, angry

If you think you would like four (4) or more of the following for two (2) or more months: Call a mediation center:

collaboration
hopeful
good
needs to be resolved
confident
pleased
relieved
up front communication
great
empowered
part of the agenda
wish it could be settled
it will be addressed
operate smoothly
want to talk
be in compliance