Research is showing when it comes to preventing bullying in schools the most powerful tool may lie in the smallest of hands, children's.
Double Diamond Elementary School in Reno has an anti-bullying program that taps into the power of peers.
It's called "Peace Pals."
If you walk the halls of Double Diamond Elementary School or head out to the playground, there's a good chance you could run into Jonas Whitten and Gillian Davis.
They are "Peace Pals."
Every year fifty 4th and 5th grade students are trained by counselor Trish Gilbert through the program on how to resolve conflicts on campus and step in when another student is in trouble.
"We do lots of role playing about how to resolve conflicts, then its a process they learn about, talk about different types of conflicts, different types of resolutions, looking at things from other people's perspectives," says Gilbert.
The students have to apply for the sought after school job and dedicate a week of lunches and recesses to be on duty every 2 to 3 months.
2nd grade student Monique Settewongse says just recently the pair helped her when she tripped and landed on another student who wasn't happy about it.
"They came and helped us and talked to us...to be friends and stuff."
The peace pal pairs are armed with a clip board of ideas on how to solve problems. They coach kids on what to do and even give out positive recognition.
Gillian Davis says, "If they are being honest when we solve the problem we give them a "howl"."
A coyote "howl" goes to students who are being respectful, responsible and safe,the key
language the peace pal program in based on.
Jonas Whitten says "We just solve as many problems as we can." If they can't solve the problem they let a teacher on duty know.
Knowing when to ask for help is part of the Peace Pal training but Gilbert says in most cases the kids are the most critical teachers of how to treat each other well.
"If kids can hear it from other kids and they are learning about it, and can help with it, absolutely it's powerful."
The Peace Pal program has been in place at Double Diamond Elementary for 6 years. There are other schools in the district that are starting to use this model and other peer mediation programs.