The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law March 2012
ADR @ Moritz

Truancy Mediation Project Trains New Set of Mediators to Keep Kids in School

On February 10th and 11th, the Truancy Mediation Project held its training for their new set of mediators.  The all-weekend training prepared law students to conduct discussions between parents and teachers of elementary and middle school students in order to help address the causes of student absences and reduce truancy in local schools in the Columbus area.

“Often the causes of student absences can’t be dealt through punishment,” says Rishi Batra, Langdon Fellow in Dispute Resolution and faculty advisor to the group.  “These mediators provide a service to both the schools and the parents by guiding them in a conversation that addresses the underlying issues that are keeping the students from attending school, whether that is transportation issues, problems in the school environment, or just a lack of understanding of school policies.”  

The training was conducted by Director of Mediation Services for the Domestic Relations and Juvenile Courts in Columbus, Marya Kolman, who generously donated her time to the organization.  The Truancy Mediation Project works closely with Ms. Kolman during the year.   As schools identify students who are in danger of having too many absences, officers of the Truancy Mediation Project arrange times for the mediations, and Ms. Kolman’s office sends notices to parents to appear.

 “This is a great opportunity for Moritz students,” says Troy Adams ‘12, officer of the organization.  “They get free training in mediation right on campus, and then immediately get to put that training in to practice, in a way that serves the larger community.”  Some students attending the training have already had a chance to mediate their first cases.  Adams says that mediations will be set up throughout the semester, depending on availability of Project members and the needs of the schools.

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The Ohio State University
Moritz College of Law
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Erin Archerd
Langdon Fellow in Dispute Resolution
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The Caucus, the newsletter published by the Moritz Program on Dispute Resolution, is designed to share ADR news with the Moritz community and beyond, as well as provide Moritz students with information regarding externship and employment opportunities. Questions regarding this publication should be directed to Erin Archerd, Langdon Fellow in Dispute Resolution.