Written by Graham Perry

Graham Perry M.A. Cantab FCIArb Experienced Arbitration Lawyer | China & Chinese Business Affairs | Public Speaker/Lecturer

31 August 2021


The Mediator is ready to move from Listening to Acting. But the Mediator is not an Arbitrator. The Mediator is not “in charge” + does not issue instructions. He/She remains consensual at all times. The Mediator has a plan – can it be sold to the parties?

One by one, and separately, the Mediator meets again with the Boy, the Parents, the Head, the Chair of Governors and suggests a way forward – a Plan of Action. The hardest “sell” is to the Boy but with assurances of “no names”, the Boy + the Parents come to accept it is an initiative that protects him, not exposes him.

But what is the Plan? For the Head to take the initiative that gender issues, like bullying issues, need recognition. There was, maybe still is, a problem of bullying. There is now a problem of gender. Some Youngsters – some Adults as well – are asking questions of themselves – am I a Boy or a Girl? Am I a Male of a Female? They are entitled to privacy but the issue – without any specific identification – needs to be opened up.

These are not questions of ridicule or humiliation but – for some and not all – these are real issues of identity that need to be treated with understanding + respect. The Head, accepting this is a problem today and probably a bigger problem tomorrow will arrange training for herself, the Common Room + the Chair of Governors. She will then appoint two teachers, male + female, to become the “Go To” Teachers to address individual issues with pupils.

The Head will also make write to the Parents of all Pupils to explain the initiative she is undertaking, knowing that some will challenge her way forward. A week later she will address the Pupils and explain why the Gender issue, like the Bullying issue, needs tolerance + understanding and not mocking + accusation. Pupils will be pupils so the Head is aware that some may still “giggle” + “humiliate”. They will need to be corrected, even expelled in persistent cases.




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