Successful Violence Reduction Project Used in California State Prisons Now Applied to California Public School System to Prevent Violence and Bullying
Award Winning California Mediator Working with Fresno Unified School District for Innovative Plan to Prevent Violence and Bullying in Schools
Los Angeles, CA…..Doug Noll, award winning mediator and co-founder of the Prison of Peace Project, has been retained by the Restorative Practices staff of the Fresno Unified School District to bring the skills and techniques he and colleague Laurel Kaufer refined in maximum security prisons to school sites. Along with 8 other California school districts, Fresno Unified will be graded by the socio-emotional learning of their students. The district’s job is to teach students how to be emotionally intelligent. Doug Noll’s revolutionary neuro-science and communication skills will be used as a part of this new learning process. Noll started training teachers in June and will pick up again during the fall, training teachers how to learn and model emotional intelligence to students.
“When the FUSD Restorative Practices officials heard me talk about our results from our Prison of Peace Project (for which Doug Noll and Laurel Kaufer were honored as California Lawyer Magazine Lawyers of the Year Award-2012) and saw the videos, they requested that I assist them. The project started in June, just last month, with 30 middle school teachers. On August 4th, I am training 12 school principals. As the new school year begins, I will be training high school and middle school teachers in the McLane High School cluster. We expect significant reductions in disciplinary actions by the teachers, more engaged students, and a much improved school climate,” Noll explains.
Teachers and administrators in the public school systems are both alarmed and afraid of the unprecedented amount of shootings in schools across the country. This project is a hopeful solution to prevent violence and bullying that threatens the life and freedom of the school-aged child. Teachers are weary of being afraid to go to work. Parents are afraid to send their children to school. “There is work to be done. We hope for positive results that will cause these ideas to spread to schools nationwide,” Noll says.
The teachers taking the early training enthusiastically embraced Noll’s innovative skills and techniques. They learned how to deeply listen by ignoring the words of the student. Noll says, “This skill is counter-intuitive, must be taught, and takes some time to master. However, our experience in maximum security prisons demonstrates that this skill can transform lives in amazing ways. We expect even better results at school sites.” Noll’s program is based on new research about how the human brain processes emotions. From that research Noll and Kaufer developed a listening technique that allowed trained inmate to de-escalate an angry peer in 90 seconds or less. Recognizing the power of the skills, Noll is now training school teachers to be able to de-escalate an emotional, angry student in 90 seconds or less while remaining completely calm and in control—a much needed process in the public school climate today.
Doug Noll is an award winning peacemaker, award winning lawyer, and award winning author of the book Elusive Peace: How Modern Diplomatic Strategies Could Better Resolve World Conflicts (Prometheus, 2011), the winner of the International Peace And Justice Book Award. Doug Noll is a core faculty member of the American Institute of Mediation, a preeminent mediation training institute founded by Lee Jay Berman. Doug conducts a comprehensive course on listening and de-escalating anger at http://www.NegotiateACenteredLife.com. For more information contact Diane at firstname.lastname@example.org