Create a safe place for your students to express their thoughts and feelings about gun violence and school shootings.
Since the mass shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, students all over the nation have been seeking answers from lawmakers, parents, teachers, and administrators.
Middle school and high school students plan to take action in a nation-wide walkout protest against gun policies on March 14. This planned walkout is causing educators to consider ways to respond to their student's needs.
How can educators show that they respect and value their students’ freedom of thought and speech all the while ensure their student's safety and well-being?
Creating a safe place on campus for students to express their thoughts, feelings, and ideas is one way to tackle the issue. Here are four activities you can set up on your school campus:
1. Host of Moment of Silence “Walkout.”
The Women’s March Youth Empower is asking high school students to “host a walkout." The organization is asking students to sign up on its website. The plan is to walkout of class for 17 minutes (a minute for each life lost) starting at 10:00 AM on March 14, 2018.
Keeping the safety and well-being of your students in mind while still allowing them an opportunity to participate in the walkout, you can ask your schools’ leadership group(s) to help you organize a “Moment of Silence” during the walkout. Gathering your entire school community in a centrally located place that students, teachers, and staff can get to quickly.
Then, at 10:00 AM have your student leaders lead their classmates in a moment of silence for 17 minutes. After the 17 minutes are over your school community can continue with the other activities below in their individual classrooms or as an entire school community.
2. Create a Discussion Wall.
Using large sheets of paper, wrap a centrally located wall with the paper. Write down three to five questions (suggestions below). Ask students to write down their responses to the questions. Allow students access to this Discussion Wall all day. Suggestion - have a couple of school councilors present in case students need to talk about their thoughts or feelings.
3. Give Students an Opportunity to Talk it Out.
Have a classroom discussion or have students draft a letter to lawmakers on where they stand, why they feel strongly about participating in the protest, and their solution to resolving school violence.
4. Focus on Kindness.
Give your school community an opportunity to work together to create a more inclusive environment; by encouraging kindness on campus, you can help students find positive solutions. We have created several blog posts to help you promote kindness - check them out below.
Random Acts of Kindness Generator
Get to Know Your Classmates
Take a Seat & Make a Friend Ball Pit
Kindness on Campus
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Note From the Founder
Hello. I am the founder of the 21 Day Kindness Challenge Program.