Who Should Students Turn When They Have Trouble Resolving Conflict?

Conflict is a normal incident among students and can happen any time or anywhere. Most conflicts are easily resolved but certain conflicts in school such as bullying aren't easily resolved. So, who should students turn to when they have trouble resolving conflict? Unresolved conflicts require the intervention of the school administration, staff and sometimes other students.

Dealing with disagreements and conflict effectively can help create positive results. But when conflicts are not handled properly, the result can be destructive and hardly ever entertains the best interest of either conflicting party. Additional supports also contribute to more demands on schools in a system that faces less resources and incompetent staff. Reacting violently and aggressively or staying silent are responses that seldom gives a positive result.

What is conflict? A conflict happens when two activities or parties are unable to get along. This means that one party engages in an activity that interferes with another group's activity. Conflicts frequently occur in schools because of the varied characteristics among students.

Types of Conflict

Verbal Conflict.

Students experience verbal conflict when different ideas clash among students. Disagreements and arguments aren't necessarily awful in schools. Academic disagreement can create a dynamic discussion in the class and can lead to their finely tuned engagement. Teachers can help students in creating a productive discussion so that learning will take place. But when verbal disagreements become violent and students are engaged in behavior such as name-calling or threats, the school has to interfere.

Social conflict.

This type of conflict takes place when a person's group acceptance is placed at harm. Negative social behavior includes gossips, humiliation, spreading rumors or exclusion from group actions. Another type of social conflict takes form in ethnic insults, which is a significant part in the present varied population. Ethnic or racial aggravation can rise into different negative forms such as verbal or physical attacks and destruction of property.

Sexual Harassment.

It is important to realize that unwelcome sexual jokes or comments can be considered as sexual harassment and should be stopped.


This act is done when a person uses information or communication technology like text messaging, e-mail or social networking in placing harm at a person's dignity. This type of harassment is especially difficult to deal with since it is invasive.

How to Deal with Conflict

In schools, there are different programs that can help students resolve their conflict. The school can look investigate on the conflict, evaluate the level of conflict and find out details about where and when it occurred. The conflict resolution program in then placed in charge in order to alter the social atmosphere of the school. This is a serious task but can be especially helpful when everyone in the school including the superintendent, administrators, teachers, parents, students, staff like drivers and canteen workers all contribute to the goal of resolving the conflict. In schools, rules should be formed and staff should intervene as soon as possible when an incident happens. Teachers engage students by giving time to activities intended at resolving conflict with the help of conflict resolution methods and peer mediation.

Tips for Resolving Conflicts

1. Parents and the school must cooperate with one another to resolve the disagreements.

2. Avoid confrontation but deal particularly with solutions to the needed issues and must be ready to look for alternatives.

3. Remember to deal with the issues at hand and not on the emotions or the people involved with the disagreement.

4. Decide on what you can cooperate on because effective solutions require the willingness of both parties to compromise.

5. Ensure that your anticipations are reasonable and realistic.

6. Both conflicting parties should commit to the solutions and agree determinedly.

Educational Literature on Conflict Resolution, Mediation

Conflict Resolution Lesson Plans
Forms of Conflict Resolution
Preventing Bullying In Your School
Steps of Confliction Resolution
  1. Anti-Bias and Conflict Resolution Curricula: Theory and Practice- ERIC Document
  2. Bullying- ERIC Document
  3. Bullying in Early Adolescence- ERIC Document
  4. Bullying in Schools- ERIC Document
  5. Conflict Resolution Programs in Schools- ERIC Document
  6. Curriculum and Instruction To Reduce Racial Conflict- ERIC Document
  7. Gaining Control of Violence in the Schools: A View from the Field- ERIC Document
  8. Gangs in the Schools- ERIC Digest
  9. Mediation in the Schools- ERIC Document
  10. Peer Conflicts in the Classroom- ERIC Document
  11. Practitioner Assessment of Conflict Resolution Programs- ERIC Digest
  12. Preparing Teachers for Conflict Resolution in the Schools- ERIC Document
  13. Preventing Bullying- ERIC Document