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Peer Advocates

The Peer Advocacy Program in the Southington Middle Schools is designed to teach students communication, decision-making, conflict resolution and referral skills. This program, now in its tenth year, is based on a simple premise: Within every school and community, an informal "helping network" exists. Students with problems naturally seek out other student whom they trust. The Peer Advocated Program utilizes this existing helping network and provides training to students who are already serving as informal helpers. It gives them skills to more effectively help others.

DePaolo Advisors

Patricia Kenefick

Southington Middle Schools

Peer Advocates
Anger and Violence

Objectives: Students will:

  • be able to understand causes of and responses to anger
  • be able to use anger management techniques
  • be familiar with conflict resolution methods become more aware of discrimination's role in society learn ways of promoting tolerance

Supplies: student handouts

"Dealin' with Anger: Givin It, Takin It, Workin it out"

Label game from "Natural Helpers"

Video - "Preparing for the Drug-Free Years" pt. 4

What is anger?

1. What makes you angry? - brainstorm

2. How do you and your family deal with anger? - brainstorm

3. How do shows and movies deal with anger? - discuss

4. How do you know you're angry?

5. How do others know you're angry?

6. What are the steps of anger?

7. Is violence the best way to express anger?

a. what are pros & cons of fighting?

Expressing anger

3 methods

1. Aggressive a. verbal or physical assault

2. Passivity

  • stuffing it entirely, not honest
  • passive aggressive - backstabbing

3. Assertive

  • state it without hurting others
  • stress importance of assertive behavior

4. Video "Drug -Free years"

B. How would you describe each kind of response?

1. Body language, words used, etc.

C. Examples of situations from worksheet, role play responses work in small groups

D. Role play being in cafeteria - someone in your seat ask him or her to move

E. lt's What You Say That Counts"

Conflict Resolution

A. What does conflict mean to you?

B. "Conflict" - review including doing examples.

C. Ways of dealing with conflict (bottom of worksheet, include what happens when one person tries and the other doesn't know how. It can help.)

D. Conflict Cycle - Review components and read paragraphs out loud

E. Steps to conflict resolution

  • each gets to speak
  • use "I" statements
  • state feelings
  • reflective listening
  • offer solutions
  • compromise?

F. Six points to keep it fair

  • Find the problem
  • Stick with one problem
  • Argue about the problem, not the person
  • Try to see other points of view
  • Having different feelings is OK

G. Avoid escalation

  • no name calling, putdowns, etc.
  • one-on-one - no group setting
  • no threats
  • no physical attacks

H. Try for de-escalation

1. agree with some points

2. use understanding phrases

  • so you were upset with me when I __________
  • I can see why you are angry
  • what can I do now?
  • can we take a few minutes to cool off?
  • when's a good time for you to meet and discuss this?

3. Acknowledge that a compromise may exist

4. Remember MMFI (make me feel important)

5. Can it be resolved in a win/win way?

6. How important is it?

7. As 3rd person, mediator, how would you deal with a conflict? - brainstorm, discuss

Problem solving conflict resolution

A. Watch video "Dealin with Anger: "Givin it, Takin it, Workin it out" part 3 girls version

B. Role play with one person trying not to argue

C. Remember:

  • feelings of everyone involved
  • personal issues what do you bring to a conflict?
  • options/consequences

D. Prevention - how can we avoid some conflicts? brainstorm

Preventing Violence

A. Brainstorm how conflict can lead to violence

B. Look at worksheet and role play two examples

C. Review other options

D. Describe mediation process, give examples of how mediation works


A. Brainstorm groups in school that are in the minority

B. Brainstorm ways that they might feel discrimination

C. Do "Label Game" from Natural Helpers

  • Discuss how they guessed what their labels said
  • Discuss difficulty of changing identity when in a clique
  • What do you risk?

D. Do "Discrimination/Tolerance" Worksheet

E. Brainstorm answers to prevention of conflict and promotion of tolerance

Introduction to stress

A Introduce homework of "Top 10 stress-causing topics for teens"

Post test, evaluation

4. stages of drug use

  • experimental
  • social
  • seeking
  • Harmful use
  • Addiction

5. What are signs of addiction?

6. assessing alcohol/drug situations - stress alcohol poisoning and Crucial calling 911

7. stress referral to appropriate person

8. what is treatment?

  • discuss different kinds including out vs. In-patient and support groups
  • relapse - especially if come back to school, have same friends

9. Acting It Out "Wanting To Get Off Drugs"

Refusal Skills

A. Why say no?

B. Have them give examples of assertively saying "no"

Effects of Alcohol on the Family

A. Children of alcoholics

  • what do they feel? - brainstorm

2. roles they fill:

  • Hero - super responsible
  • Scapegoat-acting out - acts opposite of hero -risk of addiction
  • Lost Child - shy, withdrawn - may live in fantasy world, hard to make friends
  • Mascot - down, discipline problems, attention seeker
  • Caregiver - cares for everyone

3. Video - "Tell Someone"

  • Discuss

4. What to do if you are, or know one of these

  • be aware
  • get help - school, Alanon, Alateen
  • listen
  • express feelings

A. Questions

B. Post test

C. Evaluation