SchoolTalk was introduced to me when the Executive Director of SchoolTalk, Leila Peterson, came to speak to my Conflict Organizations and Actors class at George Mason University in the Fall of 2012. SchoolTalk works to provide a safe place for families to resolve concerns regarding special education identification, assessment and service delivery. After hearing about SchoolTalk’s benefit to DC public schools, I researched them online to find more information about what they do. While SchoolTalk is a valuable resource to the families, teachers and students in DC public schools, they also provide training services which would benefit educators and families impacted by children with special needs.
SchoolTalk is designed primarily for educators and parents with special needs children, however their trainings in conflict resolution techniques is applicable in many fields. The goal of SchoolTalk is to create better forms of communication between parents and administrators regarding the delivery of special education services for students. The conflict resolution techniques SchoolTalk provides can provide informal activities tailored to students with special needs or more formal trainings to the parents/guardians of children with special needs.
Ways to use this resource:
Educators and parents can use the material they learn online or schedule a training with SchoolTalk. To fully implement this resource, participants must be willing and open to hear about alternative ways to resolve conflicts regarding special education. Encouraging a partnership with SchoolTalk reinforces one of the pillars in peace pedagogy, exploring approaches to peace.
Parents and students who engage in SchoolTalk training and lessons would be able to foster patience with the public education system as well as straightening conflict resolution skills. By utilizing this resource, the communication between faculty and students can become more peaceful, contributing to a more peaceful classroom environment.