One sure way to restore focus on the child is to ensure that Special Education mediators and facilitators exhibit high ethical standards and always "do the right thing." But what is it? Ethics questions can be complex, nuanced and situational. Professionals often have to sort out what to do under tough circumstances, guided sometimes by Codes of Conduct, sometimes only by personal or organizational values. All participants in an ADR process - from students to educators, and administrators, to parents and advocates - need to understand ethical duties and decisions. This interactive session will explore ethical dilemmas in Special Education mediation and facilitation, including restorative practices, examining issues such as impartiality, privacy, competence, self-determination, voluntariness, conflicts of interest, and other concerns. Participants will divide into small groups and will work through practical scenarios that address complex questions of "what is the right thing to do?"
The objectives of the session are to 1) educate participants on ethical issues present in Special Education ADR processes; 2) make participants aware of some available guidelines on ethics such as the Colorado Model Standards of Conduct for Restorative Justice Facilitators; various mediator ethics codes; and the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) Statement of Values and Code of Ethics for Group Facilitators; and 3) to encourage participants to grapple with the sometimes ambiguous problems of ethics in ADR, and gain skills in analyzing the values underlying their decisions.