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October 26, 2019 was a great opportunity for Access students to find out more about Unity Day, U.S. holiday celebrated in order to show support for students who have been bullied. We had a great pleasure of welcoming and hosting a Fulbright scholar in Montenegro, Ms Madeleine Lewis, who both joined our discussions and shared her points of views and more information about school bullying in the U.S.
In order to help students recognize appropriate classroom communication and also help them deal with negative comments, we did a Drawing Battle activity. Through the mentioned activity students were engaged in a meaningful task with the purpose to learn how to find both personal and common solutions in some problematic situations. While trying to perform personal tasks, in pairs and without any verbal communication, students came to some very important conclusions. They agreed that it is very important to remain alert and calm, to control emotions and behavior and most importantly to be aware and respect differences.
By participating in thought-provoking discussion, students highlighted that all students should be united and advocated for kindness, acceptance and solidarity. They agreed that bullying is by no means acceptable behavior and that no child should ever experience any type of bullying. They gave strong arguments against the violence and the general feedback was positive as they had so much to tell regarding the topic. Through discussion questions, students concluded how important the role of bystanders, as well as school’s management is and told that all students should appreciate the differences and respect and help their peers.
Tree Problem Development activity was a great way of analyzing different types of bullying and recalling potential causes and consequences of those. While designing the trees students were thinking about potential solutions and they gave meaningful insights about focal problems. Students explained how name calling, insulting, physical bullying, online bullying and social bullying can influence one’s life and offered way through which we can avoid these situations happening, or once they do happen, how they can be successfully solved. Our guest, Ms Lewis, spent some time in each group and helped students discuss their ideas.
By taking part in Constructively Engaging in Digital Communities with our guest, Ms Lewis, students expressed how they would like to be treated when their classmates speak to them and also thought about how online negative comments influence one’s offline life. Through the activity they explained why and how they would react in an argument, friendship breakup, false accusations or harassment. Access students concluded that they would always report violence and help those in need.