2017-2018 News — 16 February 2018
Oakland High School using RJ tactics to avoid conflict

Iris Ard

Oakland High School is trying to decrease the number of conflicts that are happening. Students are trying to take a stand on making O-High a better and safer learning environment.

O-High students are trying to reflect on former conflicts they’ve had and then ask themselves, Why did this conflict occur? What can I do differently?  

“It was a lot of ‘he say, she say’ and internet talking going on” said former Oakland High student Erianna McDowell, reflecting on her experience of conflict at the school. “It was just a messy situation; I could have blocked them on social media or not believe anything that didn’t come directly out of their mouths.”

Students reflecting on their actions is a Restorative Justice tactic that is used a lot at Oakland High.  Even students who have left, like McDowell, use these types of reflecting skills to try and avoid future similar conflicts that might occur in their daily life or new school. But those are tactics for the students to use; staff do things a little differently

“I think the most important thing we do though is prevention,” said Restorative Justice Coordinator Arianna Caplan. “Some students have personal conflicts at home rather than conflicts with other students so we try and build a relationship and create a climate for students to feel supported.”

“I try to just walk away from things and not feed into it,” said junior Taliah Long. “It be times where drama occurs and I just focus my energy on more positive things then that negative thing that’s trying to stir me off track. Just thinking first rather than acting first is very helpful.”

Students take it upon themselves to try and not let certain situations escalate. They try to be a role model for lower classmen and give tips and advice on how not to let the little things turn into the big things.

“I tell my little brother who is a freshman that attends O=High to not let stuff get to him and just take deep breaths,” said junior Princess Paulmerie. “These kids can be aggravating and heartless at times that makes you want to punch them but that’s not PROPS you got to know school is a place for learning not fighting.”

Our wonderful students are maturing into non-fighting machines, and these students are taking a effort into avoiding any conflict that is thrown their way.

Oakland High students hope that this non conflict epidemic stays true to the beholders eyes and continues for a better future.


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