KORANBOGOR.com-On June 6, the HWPL Workshop for the Prevention of School Violence was held, in which eight countries united as one: the USA, Chile, the Philippines, the Netherlands, Niger, Aruba, the Maldives, and the Bahamas. Approximately 100 educators, who are currently working or who will soon work as HWPL Peace educators, attended the workshop.
The theme of the workshop was “The Problem of School Violence and Bullying Committed Globally.” The purpose was to find a way to protect students from the issue and to live peacefully.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), one out of five students experiences bullying. Mission Research conducted by CBS News of Canada shows that over one-third of students aged between 14 and 21 said they had at least one experience of physical violence before they went to high school. Also, four out of ten students aged between 14 and 21 experienced violence such as pushing, punching, kicking, and biting. For high school students, one out of five male students said they had been threatened by weapons.
Since a lot of students face school violence, school communities and educators sought new roles and ways to protect their students at the workshop. Six educators presented their opinions under the theme of “The Introduction of Educational Methods to Prevent and Solve School Violence.” Also, educators who are currently carrying out HWPL Peace Education introduced methods to prevent school violence through peace education and presented what types of education are necessary.
Dr. Lynne Beyah Muhammad, Principal of The New Medinah Islamic School System said, “The heart of the peace curriculum includes order. It brings back a natural order of things.” She stated, “We are beautiful creatures. We are ourselves created based on God’s instructions. God does not make mistakes as he has done this. So this concept of violence is foreign to us. It is not a part of our culture and who we are.”
She also added, “[We should] help students recognize what is going on inside of themselves. HWPL curriculum highlights specific things such as a person itself, familial community, school community, extended family, etc., seeing their worth and value. These are critical. Students also recognize that they are a part of a school/family environment and no one has the right to bully, use negative language, or intensify any ideas that can cause a person to feel uncomfortable from bullying.”
The educators who attended the workshop promised to educate their students with HWPL Peace Education and to fulfill their duties so that students could feel secure and safe in their learning environments.