Gossip among friends.
Thursday I taught 6th grade Math and Science and before going out to her lunch break, a student asked me could she talk to me about something related to bullying.
She told me that one of her friends told her that another girl whom she thought was her friend, really was not. The student then told me that she gave out special pencils to a bunch of her classmates but did not give one to either of the girls previously mentioned because she didn't know what to do.
What advice would you give her?
I told her she can talk directly to the girl that she thinks may not be her friend and just simply find out if everything is alright between them. I also asked her how she would feel if she gave them pencils even though they may not have been very nice to her recently. We also talked about how it's alright to not be good friends with everyone in her class but that they should be respectful to one another. I also let her know that she does not have to give pencils to anyone, that is her choice.
These are the types of every day issues that are perfect for Peer Mediation. Although it may seem like a minor problem, these small problems frequently snowball into bigger problems involving more and more people.
At the end of the school day I referred the student to the school counselor and she is following up on the situation.
Per my usual routine when teaching a new class, I introduced myself and talked briefly to the class about my Peace Building work with the Stop Bullying System. I showed them our Infographic, Twitter Once I started going over the subject matter for Math and Science, one of the girls says " I know this is off topic but, since you help stop bullying what do you think about what happened at Sandy Hook?. It feels good to go back to stopbullyingsystem.com and show them our blog from the day before: "Shakeel Ali Statement on Sandy Hook Tragedy in Connecticut." I read it to them and told them that I am positive that Pacifica Schools and all other school districts are diligently working on their school safety plans with the appropriate authorities. In the blog we talk about how everyone deserves to feel safe at school and at work. You can read the Sandy Hook blog post here: goo.gl/CByRP