Pennsylvania Attorney General and Pennsylvania Bar President Continue Expansion of Unique Conflict Resolution Program

HARRISBURG (Nov. 8, 2007) - Attorney General Tom Corbett and Pennsylvania Bar Association President (PBA) Andrew F. Susko are hosting representatives from 30 southeastern Pennsylvania elementary schools today and tomorrow to further expand the adoption of the conflict resolution program known as Project PEACE (Peaceful Endings through Attorney, Children and Educators) in the public school system.

"All schools, regardless of socioeconomic status, diversity and location, have been forced by the highly publicized outbreaks of school violence to confront the issue of conflict among school students," said Corbett. "Project PEACE offers skills to help students address and resolve conflict before it escalates into violence."

"Schools must be places of learning, not places of fear or anxiety," said Susko. "Project PEACE brings everyone together - students, teachers, administrators, parents and concerned citizens - to emphasize the importance of settling disputes in a peaceful manner."

Project PEACE teaches elementary age students how to discuss and mediate disagreements. The program was developed in Pennsylvania and is a cooperative effort by the Office of Attorney General and the PBA, which provide materials, training and expertise to help each participating school develop its own Project PEACE team. Additional funding is provided by the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation.

The Project PEACE training model was developed by the Temple-LEAP program of the Temple University Beasley School of Law. Initially created for a program in Indiana, Project PEACE has since been modified to meet the needs of Pennsylvania's schools. Pennsylvania is only the second state in the nation to offer this type of peer mediation training to elementary schools.

More than 60 lawyers and educators are participating in the day-and-a-half training at the Dolce Valley Forge, King of Prussia. Since the program began in 2000, students in more than 260 Pennsylvania schools have benefited from the program.