HRDs in the school culture can end bullying

August 12, 2013

Kerry Kennedy writes in an opinion in the WashingtonPost of 12 August about how her organisation was called by the superintendent of Bucyrus City Schools to address the issue of bullying in the school. The Speak Truth To Power [STTP], human rights education curriculum offered by the Robert F. Kennedy Center is taught in schools around the world — from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to Pisa, Italy, from Stockholm to Chicago. Two years later, students in Bucyrus schools now learn the stories of legendary human rights defenders such as anti-apartheid leader Desmond Tutu and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. They also hear about such women as Juliana Dogbadzi, an escaped child sex slave who at age 20 single-handedly emancipated 5,000 girls by successfully lobbying her government to ban a centuries-old cult practice. Students not only learn about human rights defenders, but they also are trained to become defenders themselves. Following the implementation of STTP, Bucyrus students reported a change in attitude regarding bullying, particularly their awareness of bullying as an issue. Administrators have seen an increase in reports of bullying, and one student described the STTP activities as “helpful not just in handling bullying, but [providing] reasons to be more open-minded about other people.” Bucyrus was the first case where STTP, was used to target bullying and the lesson is: Bullying is, at its core, a human rights violation. It is the abuse of the powerless at the hands of the powerful, and it is a threat against the right to receive an education free from persecution. Bullying is the first human rights violation millions of students will confront. As a human rights organization, it’s not something you can ignore.

via Changing school culture can end bullying – The Washington Post.

One Response to “HRDs in the school culture can end bullying”

  1. Elena Pavlidou Says:

    What a wonderful idea!

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