Birmingham City Schools working to implement conflict resolution curriculum

Published: Nov. 25, 2022 at 4:59 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - City officials in Birmingham now making a concerted effort to make the Magic City safer for you. Their latest focus? Giving the younger generations conflict resolution skills.

The Birmingham City Council has now approved funds for a conflict resolution curriculum in Birmingham City Schools. Councilman Hunter Williams believes the new program could go a long way towards limiting violent crime.

“The city of Birmingham has been struggling with violent crime. A lot of which has a root in younger people not having the ability or skill set to use what would be considered normal conflict resolution without resorting to some kind of violence,” said City Councilman Hunter Williams.

BCS will use the H.E.A.T curriculum, which stands for Habilitation, Empowerment, and Accountability Therapy.

“I am hopeful that programs we are implementing today will end up being effective. It is not a short term fix,” said Williams.

The same program is used in Birmingham Municipal Court as part of the drug court initiative, and it was also used at Carver High School in 2021 to address conflict resolution. While it was considered successful, Councilman Williams stresses it likely won’t impact the statistics for years to come.

“We expect to see dividends from this hopefully in months and actual years in the future. It is not something that we will see crime stats change over the next ninety days,” said Williams.

The program will cost one million dollars and be active for at least the next three years. The Pinwheel Group, who created the curriculum will spend the next few months training counselors.

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