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Introducing Legislation to Teach Conflict Resolution in Every Public School in the District

Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George introduced a bill with majority Council support to develop a model curriculum for conflict resolution education and to require conflict resolution to be taught at every public school in DC.

“As our city faces escalating violence impacting youth and as our country struggles with the proliferation of guns, we need to give our children the tools they need to resolve their problems peacefully,” said Councilmember Lewis George. “If we start in our schools, we can instill lifelong skills that help students overcome conflicts, build positive and lasting relationships, and make our communities safer.”

The Conflict Resolution Education Amendment Act of 2023 would require the Office of the State Superintendent (OSSE) to develop a model curriculum that a District school could use for achieving education standards relating to conflict resolution. The bill would also require each DCPS and PCS school to implement either the model curriculum or an alternative conflict resolution education program. Additionally, DCPS would receive input from each school’s local school advisory teams on the adequacy of resources for conflict resolution at that school. Read the full legislation.

OSSE’s health education standards include some conflict-related skills, but they are stated in very broad terms with little-to-no guidance to schools on how to help students meet the standards. Conflict resolution is not currently taught across all District schools.

“Integrating conflict resolution into public education will create safe and engaging learning environments, foster positive relationship-based approaches to school discipline, and promote healthy responses to interpersonal conflicts that arise in and out of school,” added Councilmember Lewis George.

The bill is co-introduced by Councilmembers Charles Allen, Christina Henderson, Robert White, Brianne Nadeau, Trayon White, and Brooke Pinto.