Re: a culture of violence?

Marty Henry (
Fri, 03 Apr 98 14:51:11 -0700

In reading your thoughtful post, I was reminded of my experience in
working as a consultant in an early childhood magnet school in an
urban area.

The teacher had been working with first grade students (60% black, 40%
other) on resolving conflicts using the Peace Table. They were allowed
to request (and receive) time at the Peace Table if they were having a
dispute with another student or adult. (This was following months of
modeling and training on working through disputes.) The students were
at the point where they were even asking to leave the playground and
go to the Peace Table if a dispute arose.

One day a young girl came to the teacher and told her that she really
wished they had a Peace Table at her house. Now this said something to
me about the extent of the problem. Here was a very young student
effectively using strategies of conflict resolution only to realize
they are missing in her culture outside of the school.

Our job is huge...but we must start.

Marty Henry

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: a culture of violence?
Author: <> at Internet-Mail
Date: 4/3/98 1:00 PM

This EDEQUITY discussion on violence, sexual harassment, etc has got me

There is a real issue out there...violence is real and it's a manifestation of
a number of things. It was always assumed "boys are violent" but now federal
stats show a rise in violence among females...and females are reporting that
they are sexually harassing others as well..... The murders of the female
student and teacher in Arkansas is chilling; as are the violent deaths of young
men, particularly young men of color. How do we focus on addressing violence
across the board, and how do we sort out our growing fear of violence from
actual violence, especially in light of stats that show a reduction in violent
crime among our youth.

Given this, Id' like us to think about the broader context of violence,
education and what we can do about it. I'ld like help in thinking this through.

*How do we create a culture shift--one that supports peaceful and supportive
relationships among all people, that moves males and females away from this
oppositional stance?
*What changes in the culture will help stop young men from hurting
themselves or one another?
*How do we share the programs, approaches, materials that work to shift the
dynamics of violence, that support gender equity and all equity, that
increase engagement in the classroom.

I believe that positive adult expectations and genuine engagement in the
classroom, with curriculum that speaks to the students goes a long way to
shifting the dynamics of violence and disengagement. Whether it's the sexual
harassment programs such as those developed by Nan Stein at Wellesley or Susan
Strauss in Minnesota, the GESA model, the materials Craig Flood and others have
listed here, the new constructivist curriculum, the WEEA do we
use these as building are people using these and others? With what
results? And what do we as a national center, what do we as participants on
EDEQUITY, what do we as individuals in our schools, communities, families do to
change the culture's belief that violence in all its forms is an answer.
Perhaps we can use this forum to strategize about this.

Katherine Hanson, WEEA Equity Resource Center, 

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