Kids Working It Out: Strategies and Stories for Making Peace in Our Schools

Kids Working It Out: Strategies and Stories for Making Peace in Our Schools

Kids Working It Out: Strategies and Stories for Making Peace in Our Schools

Kids Working It Out: Strategies and Stories for Making Peace in Our Schools

Synopsis

Kids who understand how to manage conflict successfully can transform their schools into safer and kinder places to learn. Kids Working It Out offers educators and parents a guide to the most current and effective school-based conflict resolution programs and shows how these programs can make a positive difference in our schools. Throughout the book, students and teachers share their stories of what it's really like in today's schools and reveal how Conflict Resolution Education, has shaped their experiences. Kids Working It Out covers a wide range of topics-- curriculum integration, peer mediation, restorative justice, and others-- and shows what it takes to implement an effective program in any school, and any community.

Excerpt

The high school teacher grabbed the masked gunmen's shirt, forcing him to stop. Slowly, the young killer pulled off his mask so that the gray-haired history teacher could recognize him.

“Robert?” the sixty-year-old teacher, Rainer Heise, asked incredulously. He could not believe that the person who had just killed thirteen teachers, two students, and a police officer had been one of his students.

“Go ahead and shoot me, Robert, ” Heise said. “But first, look me in the face.” Kids Working It Out: Stories and Strategies for Making Peace in Our Schools is written by adults who are “looking in the face” of the next generation. But the contributors to this book are not waiting until violence breaks out and the tv news helicopters begin their vigil in the sky above our children's schools. They are creating programs that prevent violence.

German television would later report that it was a “fearless teacher” who stopped the massacre at Johann Gutenberg High School in Erfurt, Germany. But of course that is not true. Rainer Heise was certainly afraid. But what enabled him to overcome his fear and to risk his life dramatically demonstrates the importance of this book. He did not end the worst bloodshed in Germany since World War II with more violence. He did not end it by installing metal detectors, by giving pompous speeches at school assemblies, or by posting the Ten Commandments on classroom walls. He ended it by looking directly into the eyes of his student. His courageous, nonviolent strategy worked because he had a . . .

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