Re: school climate -Reply

Mon, 12 Jan 1998 13:53:04 -0600

I've had many discussions wih students about harassment. Usually they
are very suprised that they have a right to learn in an environment where
harassment is not status quo. I cast it as a civil right- which makes them
stop and think about a harassment-free environment as a positive thing.
In that way, we don't focus on the "thou shalt nots" and on the "It's cool
to" approach. This has generally been very successful in empowering
students to exercise their power to set an atmosphere of respect. The
approach has worked with kids who have had assault convictions and
who are very "jaded" about these kinds of discussions. Generally, the
students learn that they are not alone and that they can work together to
make school a place to learn. The discussions can be very interesting- I
always learn from them and am convinced that kids are the future. To
empower them to respect is to free us all.
Pegy Weeks

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