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Della Palacios

Educational Consultant, Trainer and Teacher, SensAble Learning, LLC


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Instead of, "No bullying," let's shift the focus in schools to Peace. Let us teach peace explicitly in every school.

Watch Jeni Stepanek's TedxTeen Talk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ru2Wq-6TUzI

In a world where a child's desperate cry for attention makes the evening news on a daily basis, let us show that child another way. Let us teach that child how to solve problems, practice how to be empathetic and resolve conflicts.

Parents and teachers will tell you that teaching a child what TO do is much more impactful than telling the child what NOT to do. So, let's shift the paradigm in schools. Instead of anti-bullying programs, let's begin to teach peace, explicitly and directly.

Peace is a choice."- Mattie J.T. Stepanek
Peace requires... "Action" -Jody Williams


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    May 14 2013: Exploring peace easily integrates into research, social studies, language arts, p.e. etc.

    Also, when I taught, we had some exceptional social workers. One brought two great programs to the school. One was Peace Place. The other was Peer Mediation.

    Peace Place came first.

    There was a Peace Place in every classroom, the lunch room, on the playground, etc. When children had a conflict, they used the Peace Place. It took kids some time to get familiar with it.

    Posters guided their language to frame their feelings so that another with heated feelings could hear them. It used I messages and helped free words that might have otherwise become a punch or a wound.

    Peer Mediation came second.

    Then, he trained peer mediators who wore vests on the playground. If kids could not resolve a problem themselves. Peer mediators stepped in.

    I believe there are some students with great leadership skills who would make wonderful peer mediators, including students who have made poor choices by bullying.
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      May 14 2013: Peer mediation has a very long history in schools- much longer than the programs explicitly designed to to address bullying. Programs to address bullying typically begin, I think, with building a sense of community in school so that in effect kids will feel intrinsically motivated to treat each other well and to stand up for each other and take care of each other when things go wrong.

      I don't think this adds anything to curriculum in the sense people are worrying about. Teachers start working on this with kids as a matter of course even in preschool when they say "Use your words." With the widespread use over the last twenty years of pedagogies in which kids work in groups for much of the school day, teachers work with kids on how to work effectively in that format, to resolve differences, and to make sure everyone is heard and respected. It is part of the job.
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        May 14 2013: I love the idea of unity, respect, caring for one another and standing up for one another. Is that what "no bullying" does, though? I haven't seen its merit and my sense of urgency to help the situation grows as my children are now school age.

        Columbine occurred my first year teaching while I was in Colorado and the situation is not improving.
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          May 14 2013: My point was that the anti-bullying programs I have seen are oriented in this direction. They are not called "Anti-bullying Program." The name is a positive one, like Community Meetings.

          What does the program consist of at your school or in your district?

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