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Conflict Resolution: The Steps to a Peaceful School
Transcript of Conflict Resolution: The Steps to a Peaceful School
What is bullying and what causes school conflict?
What research has been done on reactive and proactive approaches to conflict resolution?
What steps can teachers take in the own classrooms to solve conflict?
What steps can a school take to solve conflict? Bullying and School Conflict By: H. Roy Kaplan Problem: A black family moved into an affluent white neighborhood in Milburn, New Jersey. The family accuses the students and administrators at school of racial bias. At the same time, the students said that the George family would provoke them.
Mr. George and his son attacked students with an aluminum baseball bat.
The George family accused students of using racial slurs and bullying the kids.
They also accused administrators of not punishing students who bullied their George kids.
Solution: The school has suspended students in cases with witness corroboration and fired a teacher who made anti-Semitic comments.
There is still tension in the community and at school as Mr. George and his son await trial for "the bat incident."
The Georges have filed lawsuits against the school and families for racial discrimination. Crusading for Justice? Or Just Making Waves? With cooperation and dedication, teachers, admin, and the community can infuse Peace Education programs into the school curriculum.
Examples of Peace Education Resources
Center for the 4th and 5th R's (Respect & Responsibility)
Think, Act, Care: Teaching for a Peaceful Future
United Nations CyberSchoolBus Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.
Imbalance of Power: One student exerts his or her power over another
Types of Bullying
Verbal: Teasing or name calling
Social: Leaving someone out, spreading rumors
Physical: Hitting, pushing, taking someone's things
Where does bullying and happen?
After school: ONLINE
20% of students in grades 6-12 said they had been bullied. Peace Education for Children Source: http://www.stopbullying.gov/what-is-bullying/definition/index.html Implications for the Classroom & School What can teachers do? Freedom to Hate: Weighing First Amendment Rights Against School Violence Problem: White students at River Run HS were wearing shirts with Confederate Flags
When a student sent around a petition to call for the ban of wearing Confederate Flags, she was suspended
Underlying tensions between students were brought to the surface and school administrators feared violence
Solution: Creating a conflict resolution team
25 students, teachers, guidance counselor, school psychologist, assistant principals
Created norms for discussion
Spent 2 1/2 hours discussing and coming up with a plan to change their own behavior and be a model for their fellow students
Met 3 weeks later and have noticed a change and have dedicated themselves to make anti-discrimination banners and presentations By: David Kocieniewski Discussion Point: Compare and Contrast the situations at Milburn and River Run High Schools. What could Milburn administrators have done to resolve the situation peacefully? By: Aline M. Stomfay-Stitz Throughout history, there have been opportunities for peace education to be implemented and developed; however, very little action took place.
Most of these opportunities took place after wars
The Peace Education movement has been rejected and peaceful literature has even been banned from some schools.
Peace Education has traditionally been found in places of worship, yet never explicitly taught in the classroom.
Maria Montessori began the real transition to acknowledging the importance of Peace Education in 1972.
Many schools now follow the Montessori method of promoting nonviolence.
As issues of domestic violence, abuse, bullying, and violent entertainment are rising, Peace Education curriculum development has never been more essential. Hold weekly class councils discussing key issues related to Peace Education
Acceptance and Tolerance
Infuse Peace Education topics into content areas
History: Provide examples of conflicts solved peacefully.
Reading: Read novels about both peaceful and violent representations of the world. Examples: The Hunger Games, War Horse, The Red Badge of Courage
Writing: Write a research paper about world leaders who promote peace.
Example of Peace Education Lesson Plans can be found at the UN website:
http://www.un.org/cyberschoolbus/peace/home.asp What can schools do? Create a conflict resolution team with students, teachers, counselors & admin.
Avoid "No Tolerance" policies and focus on proactively teaching peace.
Handle conflicts with patience and provide immediate mediation.
Hold assemblies and post banners that focus on Peace Education topics.
Once per month, establish a character trait to focus upon Source: http://www.teachforpeace.org/rationales-curricula/Peace-Education-Curricula-Resources Discussion Point: Did you have Peace Education growing up? Have you incorporated any Peace Education into your own classroom? Discussion Point: How easy do you think it would be to incorporate Peace Education into your classroom? Do you think the lessons from the UN are relevant to your classroom? Why or why not? Do you have time to promote Peace Education in your classroom? If no, what obstacles stand in your way? Discussion Point: What do you think was successful about this approach? Do you think that anything could have been improved about the way River Run dealt with conflict in their school? Final Discussion Point: What could you start tomorrow in your classroom to incorporate Peace Education? What could you start in a month? What could the campus start tomorrow or in a month's time to be more peaceful?