When Ethan wasn’t picked to represent his school in a prestigious competition, his parents were very unhappy. They were certain that he had proven himself and that his two teachers were biased in their decision. Ethan’s teachers, on the other hand, felt that it was their prerogative to select students to form the best team for the competition. This wasn’t the first time Ethan’s parents had disagreed with his teachers. They’d long suspected a bit of favouritism going on. The dispute got so intense that it received media coverage. When the situation reached an impasse, the school suggested mediation. During the session, the mediators uncovered a long history of allegations of wrong-doing between both parties. It took an entire morning and early afternoon to allow the dominant personalities on both sides to vent. Both insisted they had Ethan’s best interests at heart. During a private session in the evening, the mediators noticed that Ethan, while relatively quiet, had been scribbling notes. They asked him for permission to read his scribbles. What Ethan had written surprised everyone. “Just stop. Stop quarreling! I can’t take it. Why can’t you hear me? I don’t care if I get in the team or not. Just stop fighting. Why can’t you leave things alone?” His emotive plea caused the dominant parent to break down in tears. The mediators asked Ethan and his parent to have a heart-to-heart talk outside. With Ethan’s permission, the mediators read his notes to the teachers at the next private session. The dominant teacher finally quietened down while the other teacher was reduced to tears. At a subsequent joint session, the mediators invited the relatively passive parent and passive teacher to continue negotiations. The dominant personalities kept quiet. The mediators eventually ironed out the communication issues between both sides and helped them write a press statement to provide closure to the case. Disclaimer: Some names and identifying features have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.