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Stepping Up 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 2:46:32 PM

By Kristin Jones, Associate Executive Director & Cary Trout, Senior Training Specialist

            paxUnited trainers have recently developed a training that will empower some select students of Duncanville High School to bring peace and wellbeing to their school and district. The high school Peer Mediators, the officers of the Student Council and the Safe School Ambassadors joined together and participated in a one-day training where they began a battle against bullying and intolerance.

Broken up into three steps, the training first consisted of an educational piece where information and statistics were shared and discussed regarding bullying, cyberbullying, hazing and dating violence. The second step of this training was centered on communication and listening skills building. The participants discussed the necessity of positive communication and the importance of being able to effectively communicate with others, even while in the throes of conflict. After all, what we do not talk out, we will act out.

Finally, the students took to their feet in a number of activities where the ideas discussed earlier and the skills developed previously were put into use. These activities have at their core positive messages of tolerance, understanding, inclusion and teamwork. Some of the activities shed light on the experience of being on either side of the bully problem and the feelings encountered by the individual because of it. Others emphasize the importance, the understanding and the acceptance of diversity as avenues to both more positive social interactions as well as a more peaceful social climate.

As mentioned, this training put into motion an effort by Duncanville High School students to bring positive change to the rest of their school district. The next step is for the high school students to take these activities mentioned to the students in the elementary, intermediate, and middle schools throughout their district. They will spend some time with their younger counterparts and carry out the activities just as the paxUnited trainers did with them, keeping the purpose and message of the activities intact.

These students understand that bullying related behavior affects everyone. The learning process and student relationships both suffer greatly as a result. They have also come to the realization that changing the social climate and the social norms of the district with regards to bullying related violence requires the efforts of everyone in the entire environment. It is this training coupled with their efforts to team up with the other schools in the district that are real evidence that Duncanville High School is stepping up against the bully problem.

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