Conflict Resolution Program
For more than eight years, VYJ and the Caddo Parish School Board have worked collaboratively to offer the School Fight Diversion Program. It was designed to address the dynamics that lead to conflicts with the goal of preventing school fight violations. After a decline in schools referring last year, we spent several months surveying Caddo school principals and meeting with security and discipline administrators to make changes to meet the needs of the school.
Changes have now been implemented this school year and the name has changed to the Conflict Resolution Program to better reflect the purpose of the program which is to offer students who get into disagreements or fights the tools they need to resolve conflicts.
Another important change this year is the relocation of the program to Caddo’s Student Services Center which is now housed at the former Central Elementary. We believe the location change away from an operating school campus and the central location of the program will make it more accessible for students and parents. We also added another employee, Conflict Resolution Coordinator to help with this process.
Students and parents now have an option of two classes per day rather than one. The program will now be offered twice per day (9am – 12pm) and (1pm – 4pm). Parents will attend the last 30 minutes of the program. This structure will allow more options for parents while also allowing VYJ to process more students in one day.
In an effort to reach students before they engage in a fight, school administrators will identify students who fit the criteria of bullying, continued verbal altercations between two or more parties, and instigating. These students will be referred to the Conflict Resolution Program. Students referred for prevention will not pay a fee and the fee for students referred for fighting remains $50.00. Students who do engage in a fight will be referred to learn alternative ways of handling disputes. If arrested, students may have their charges dismissed if they successfully complete the program.
We are encouraged by the feedback we have received from principals and administrators who are happy to have a prevention option which will significantly help lower the schools’ suspension rates. We are looking forward to this opportunity to serve more students by giving them tools they need to resolve conflicts peacefully.