Lee: Releasing Control Through Conflict Resolution

Lee arrived to Aseltine in his sixth-grade year, behind academically, reserved, and with a history of physical and verbal aggression. Further, Lee acted on his need to maintain control of every situation and had a tendency to self-sabotage, which did not often end in his favor.

Upon arriving to Aseltine, Lee excelled quickly at first, becoming a role model for his peers and earning many awards for his academics and improved behavior.

In his last slated semester at Aseltine, after long fights and disagreements with his father, Lee ran away and moved in with his mother, who had just received a cancer diagnosis.

This unexpected curve ball in Lee’s life caused him to stop attending school regularly. When he did attend, he completed minimal work and was completely shut down and defeated by outside stressors that felt out of his control – a trigger for Lee.

In an effort to reconnect with Lee and help him cope with his life outside of our walls, Aseltine staff granted Lee “sanctuary” within our Conflict Resolution Program, which pushes students to identify, understand and overcome their conflicts with people, circumstances and themselves instead of letting their anger and frustration control their actions. In Lee’s case, the goal of this program was to help him successfully implement coping mechanisms to work through the new challenges and unknowns of his life outside of school.  

During this time, Lee focused on what he could control. Lee learned how to care for his mother around the house and how to balance the demands of his home and school life. Perhaps most importantly, Lee learned that throughout life he will face many obstacles that will be out of his control, but by employing learned coping techniques, discipline and acceptance, he will be able to overcome and move forward.

Lee eventually reconciled with his father, and his mother is now on the road to recovery. Thanks in large part due to his recommitment to school through our Conflict Resolution Program, Lee successfully transitioned back to the special education setting of his public high school and is on track to graduate with his diploma this year. Post-graduation, Lee is looking forward to attending vocational school.

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