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Walking the Peace Path in Conflict Moments – The Children’s Way

Posted by Ryan Hall
05.20.16

The following article was sent to us by Angela Parker, a Campaign Nonviolence Action Organizer and member of the Social Justice Center of Marin.

At Vallecito Elementary School in Marin County, students have a solution for dealing with conflicts on school grounds.  The way it works is that a “Peacemaker” (a 3-5 grader who is not a participant in the conflict), asks the two children in conflict if they want to walk the Peace Path (See image above). If both children in conflict agree, the Peacemaker takes the two children over to the Peace Path. The Peacemaker then guides the two children through each process of the Peace Path and resolves the conflict with honesty, responsibility, resolution and respect.

Each child puts his or her feet on the yellow or blue footprints. In the first exchange, the child on the yellow footprint states what he/she feels and describes the act. The child standing on the blue footprint acknowledges the feelings and the act. Then, the child on the blue footprint states what he/she feels and the child standing on the yellow footprint acknowledges the feelings and the act.

The child on the yellow footprint asks what can he/she do to make it right and the child on the blue footprint states his/her need is in order to resolve the conflict. Then the child on the blue footprint asks what can he/she do to make it right and the child on the yellow footprint states his/her need is in order to resolve the conflict.

The child on the yellow footprint asks what can he/she do to make it right and the child on the blue footprint states his/her need is in order to resolve the conflict. This pattern is repeated until the two children are in agreement as to the solution.

Each child assures the other that they will do/say what is needed to resolve the conflict. Then each child says thank you.

Each child states that they know that the problem is over because (child indicates how they know the conflict is over)

At the end of the path, the two children leave in peace and shake hands. The Peacemaker has guided this resolution and the children have learned how to resolve a conflict with honesty and agreement.

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