Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Acting Out

Yesterday in Tolerance Club we had the kids write skits that showed examples of bullying incidents that they had witnessed at our school. To help get them started two other adults and I performed a quick sketch of something that had really happened in my classroom. In our dramatic presentation, I played the clueless teacher-- the one too busy taking attendance and giving directions to notice one student harassing and threatening the kid sitting next to her.

I'm afraid the role came quite easily to me, and afterward I was in demand by all the other groups to play the adult who does what an adult might do when coming upon a questionable interaction in the hallway or cafeteria: I asked kids to rat on other kids who were present, sent the wrong student to the office, and dismissed a situation as a waste of time. (Character note-- despite the unhelpfulness of my interventions, my heart was always in the right place.)

On a certain level it was discouraging, but in truth, this is why we started the Tolerance Club. Adults policing the school is not a solution; to lessen bullying, the climate has to change and the change has to come from the kids.

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