Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Peacebuilding Idea of the Week - Red Dots
Classes for my Conflict Transformation Masters program at Eastern Mennonite University began this week and among so many interesting thoughts and ideas swirling around, one local effort described by a Virginia teacher named Michele in my Analysis class struck me as simple and important.
After tragedies like Virginia Tech and Colombine, Michele said that teachers and administrators in her school write the names of all of their students on a chart and if any teacher has a connection with a student, a red dot is placed next to the student's name.
Students who have no dots; those who are not communicative, not known, who have the potential to fall between the cracks of society, those students are sought out by teachers and administrators to connect in some way. They schedule lunch, a talk, a deliberate effort of interaction with the student in the hopes of creating a web of community which they hope will stave off a spiraling of those "no dot" students into violence.