Mediation is a voluntary, informal, and confidential meeting that allows parties involved in a dispute the chance to discuss the issues with the help of a professional mediator. The goal is to reach a resolution or agreement for both parties. Voluntary participation in a session allows parties to discuss the issues in a safe setting and to reach an agreement that works for them. Mediation can be used in many settings, including:
- Disputes between students during the school day.
- Disagreements between parents of students over issues happening in school.
- Conflicts between students, or their parents, and teachers or administrators.
- Repair, return or replace property.
- Payment of medical expenses
- Agreement to modify or cease specific behavior.
Trained, professional mediators procured by the Polk County Attorney's Office:
- Will not take sides.
- Will not make decisions or tell any participant what they need to do to resolve the problem. The mediator is not a judge.
- Will assist the parties in understanding all the issues and finding common ground.
- Will assist the parties in writing an agreement.
- Will ensure that ground rules are followed by the parties and maintain a respectful atmosphere during the session.
- Mediation gives the parties the ability to avoid litigation which can be expensive.
- It improves communication between the two parties in a confidential setting.
- Allows for more creative fixes to issues.
- Mediation saves everyone time by working for the best potential outcome of a problem.