shift to seeing the deeper beliefs that need to change about
trauma, challenging behavior, and punishment.
On a scale from 1 to 4, educator’s understanding that punishment is not effective at changing behavior increased from
2. 9 to 3. 5. Moreover, educators completing the training were
also more likely to realize that students’ knowing what punishments exist does little to help them manage their behavior ( 2. 5
to 3. 2). One of the biggest changes was educators learning
that not only is discipline part of their job ( 3. 7 to 3. 8), educators now understood after the training that it was also part of
their job to teach students how to manage big emotions. (An
increase from 3. 2 to a 3. 7) These findings point us into a direction that we can train for the paradigm shift and the skills.
We have been able to follow a similar model with the second district’s four secondary schools, using a cohort model
we refer to as “Communities of Practice,” who meet several
times a year to deepen the training and exchange resources
and supports. Each started with an initial two-day introduction
to Restorative Justice followed by daylong trainings in trauma,
Collaborative & Proactive Solutions, circle process, and change
management over a three-year period.
Both districts using this model are working from a “Top-down,
Bottom-up” approach where both leadership and teachers rec-
ognize their roles. From top leadership we need:
• Help address and change district policies that
still mandate “Zero-tolerance.”
• Change schedules to allow for daily circles.
• Support staff and mental health counselors
available to all students.
From the bottom-up, we need teachers, parents, and
students involved in a grass roots effort to:
• Get circles going,
• Create respect agreements.
This movement toward school-wide community building, training, paperwork changes, and shifts can take up
to three years before we truly start seeing better outcomes.
If you’re looking to implement trauma-informed practices in a school, plan to plan, plan, and plan some more.
Make sure you have support from leadership, staff, parents, and students. Expect stumbles as you learn to run
with this work. It will take patience, time, and more time.
You won’t just be training people, you will be asking them
to change their heart. But it will be worth it.
Articles by dispute resolution practitioners show that med-arb
is used widely, albeit cautiously, by private mediators and arbitrators in cases where the Parties’ desire for finality and efficiency
outweighs other concerns. There is nothing in the Uniform
Mediation Act, the Revised Uniform Arbitration Act, the Federal
Arbitration Act, or the Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators (promulgated by AAA, the American Bar Association, and the
Association for Conflict Resolution) that prohibits using the same
Neutral in the med-arb process.
4. THREE SAMPLE CASES
The following three cases – taken from my own practice as a
lawyer, mediator, and arbitrator – illustrate some of the reasons
why dispute resolution professionals sometimes use med-arb.
a. A Contract Case. Several years ago, I was the media-
tor in a case in which the Parties and Counsel wished
to resolve their dispute – a breach of contract claim
between two taxi companies – by agreement. How-
ever, after more than a day of mediation, both sides
became convinced that a definitive interpretation
of their contract was needed, and they asked me to
switch hats and arbitrate the dispute.[x] Strongly held
views on both sides, as well as intense anger between
the principals of the two companies, made it difficult for
either party to consider settlement, but they did see
the value, from a business standpoint, of having the
dispute resolved privately.
b. A Divorce Case. I was appointed by a Court – on the basis
of a stipulation from the Parties and Counsel – to serve
as a mediator and arbitrator in a complex post-divorce
case in which a large payment due from one Party to the
other could only be paid by liquidating or refinancing a
large number of properties from the Parties’ real estate
investments. Over the course of two years, more than
100 issues had arisen concerning the marketing and
management of these properties, with approximately
half of the issues resolved by agreement. But, many of
these issues (50 to date) had required the issuance of
an Order because the Parties and their Counsel were
at an impasse. It would have been highly inefficient for
these decisions to have been made by a separate indi-
vidual because of the complexity of the post-divorce real
c. A Personal Injury Case. As counsel, I represented a young
woman injured in a moped-auto accident, and unfor-
tunately, the driver had only $100,000 of insurance
coverage and no reachable assets. ADR made sense
to all parties (plaintiff, defendant, and insurer) because
of the limited resources available and because litigat-
ing the case in court would been too costly. Because
of the factual complexity of the accident and the dam-
ages from my client’s injuries (closed head injury leading
to cognitive impairment), it was clearly less efficient to
educate a mediator and then a separate arbitrator, and
so the parties executed a med-arb submission agree-
FIRST PRINCIPLES OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION
Announcing a New Series from ACR and Rowman & Littlefield!
The ACR Practitioner’s Guides Series
Edited by Michael Lang and Susan Terry, this series will publish books for practitioners in mediation and conflict resolution. The overarching goal of the series is to offer practical, easy to understand descriptions of practitioner thinking
and the application of theory and core beliefs in key areas of conflict resolution and mediation. The tone of the books
will be collegial and conversational. Each book will have common elements and a degree of consistency in style
and format. Books in the series will offer a wealth of advice, information, and bonus ideas to make practice easier or
• Community Mediation
and Restorative Practice
• Divorce, Elder Care
and Family Business
• Diversity and Equity
• Environmental Disputes
• Managing Workplace
and Organizational Conflicts
• Public Dialogue
and Input Processes
• Mediation Training
• Mediator Ethics
• Reflective Practice
• Rights of Mediation Consumers
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The Series Editors welcome book proposals from any author interested in publishing in this series.
Initial book topic areas under consideration include:
Michael Lang ( email@example.com) | Susan Terry ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
Elizabeth Swayze, Executive Editor, Rowman & Littlefield (email@example.com)
For questions about The ACR Practitioner’s Guide Series, or to obtain further information about the requirements for submitting proposals contact: