The Kid Power: "R" Word Down, School Safety Up! lesson plan adapts and builds on one U.S. school's campus safety idea, to stop use of the "R" word and resultant mean-spirited behavior. Students at that campus accepted leadership and took on responsibilities to reduce and eliminate undesirable social behaviors and name-calling, and thereby increase campus safety. Students themselves put in the work and the time to resolve and cease the problem and received coverage in the media for their bravery and leadership-responsibility.
“Sticks and stones may hurt my bones but words can never hurt me!” The meaning of this chanty has changed, due to the ever-present safety issues on our school campuses today. School safety is discussed by everybody from the President of the United States to your local police department to your state’s governor to your own school principal. Why are improvements in School Safety seemingly so slow to happen? Are we, as a nation, approaching the issue of School Safety somewhat backwards, as in "old school"?
Middle School and High School students can learn how to take leadership and responsibility for the safety of their (and your) campus. Student leadership and responsibility are the central nervous system for preventing campus violence--in all its horrid forms. Remember: When police and parents rush onto a campus in crisis-mode, it is often and already too terribly late.
With Kid Power: "R" Word Down, School Safety Up!, your students, too, can learn and activate a highly-effective way to take the leadership and increase and maintain their safety.
Yours for safer students and a safer school,
James E. Shaw, Ph.D.