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Do elementary schools have tolerance classes?

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johnnie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:17 PM
Original message
Do elementary schools have tolerance classes?
I was reading the thread about bullies and I remember being bullied as a kid but it didn't really bother me. I was always shorter than anyone and from the day I start school until, well.. 43 years later. :eyes:

When I was a kid it really didn't bother me and I usually beat them down with wit and standing up to the punks. But it seems to be a lot worse these days or at least we hear about it more because they shoot each other now.

So I was wondering if they have classes starting in kindergarten or 1st grade that teaches these kids about tolerance and concentrates on treating each other with respect. If not, why don't they? Of course kids will be kids, but I think it is worth it to try to educate kids on this.

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mrreowwr_kittty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:22 PM
Response to Original message
1. Sadly, too many people think it "builds character" or something
Usually people who have never been bullied.
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johnnie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. I even hated seeing it when I was a kid
I can't even count how many times I stepped in to stop that shit. Like I said in my OP, I was picked on for my size but it didn't bother me and I was friends with all kinds of people so I would typically step up and tell the bullies to knock it off. Most of the time they would. I knew what it felt like but also knew that not all of the kids could let it slide.
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TheFriendlyAnarchist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:23 PM
Response to Original message
2. No, but they DO have stupid ass programs-
like DARE and Abstinence Only.
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SharkSquid Donating Member (659 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
3. Id honestly rather my kid learn how to read properly
And learn history(a good chance for tolerance training) and math than waste a period.
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mrreowwr_kittty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. I'd like to see critical thinking taught, from the earliest ages
Teach them to carefully examine the messages and stereotypes they get.
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MissB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
4. Yes. Our school runs one from K-3rd.
We still have a full-time counselor at our small school, so she can coordinate the program. They also have a peer process on the playground. Older kids take turns being the "go to" problem solvers of petty arguments on the playground. If the problem can't be solved by the kids, then it is taken to the adults. It gives them a chance to work it through while still having a fall-back position.

Bullying isn't tolerated at our school.
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ourbluenation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:28 PM
Response to Original message
6. yeah but it goes in one ear and out the other when the shit hits the fan
and now with the cyber bullying trifecta; myspace, instant messaging, and texting it's never been easier to pull that mean girl shit off without adults knowing what going on.

And this is by and large a problem with girls. Boys go about things differently - its more physical although there is increasing physical violence with girls too.

My daughter was a victim a few years ago - it was ugly and made the summer between 7th and 8th grade hell for her. There are tactics you can teach girls to do that can neuter these bullies but it takes a lot of emotional strength to pull it off. Many of these bully girls (the "queen bee's) are considered nice girls by the adults in their lives who are shocked when they find out whats going on. Then there is the second tier, the worker bee's, who don't want to lose their social status by backing up the victim even if it's killing them inside. So they all pile on. Dreadful.
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mrreowwr_kittty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Behind every 'queen bee' are her shallow, materialistic, idiot parents
Edited on Sat Nov-17-07 02:03 PM by thecatburgler
The ones who made jr. high a hellish experience for us more awkward girls invariably had parents who spoiled them with all the clothing and other stuff they wanted. Which is not to say that every girl who came from an affluent family was like that, nor that every mean girl necessarily came from a rich family. However, most of the bullying centered around your appearance and clothes and the girls doing the bullying clearly had parents who spared no expense buying them designer labels, and more importantly, giving the girls the message that those things made you better than other people.

Looks like not much has changed, except for the cyber element being added to it, as you mention.
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ourbluenation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. I try not to use words like "every". and there is nothing awkward about my daughter...
to be clear...she's friendly to everyone, an honor student, gorgeous, has mad volleyball skills, can sing like nobody's business, is leader, and has a damn fine fashion sense (way better than yours truly). In her case, she was the only one not at a sleepover, nothing more, nothing less...so she became the target...literally out of nowhere. then it grew and grew. the day before they all hung out together and had a great old time.

the queen bee in our case was the daughter of an immigrant, single mother, with very little money who speaks not a word of english. she has neither the resources or inclination to spoil her daughter at all. Her daughter is a natural born leader and extremely bright and hardly comes from shallow, materialistic idiots.

This group is the A group. Most of the mean girl energy seemed to be within the group, taking turns turning on one another, not girls outside their circle. Since my kid was the first victim, she refused to play along when they focused their bullshit on someone else. Now it's understood that she will not go there, ever, and they don't even try. Besides they're in high school now and much of that nonsense has tapered off, but yeah, it was awful at the time. They all dropped her off their myspaces, blocked her on instant message, etc...She was cast out. I disconnected the computer and when we let her access it again, it was with the proviso that I knew the password and did random checks, which she agreed to, and which still is in place today.

And one last point - the parents in our group were wonderful and called their kids out when they got caught. Some were grounded. Almost all lost their computer privileges.

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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
10. Mine do. Both my kindergartener and my second-grader.
The counsellor comes in and does classes with them on bullying to explain the bullying policy and how to deal with people without getting mad or saying mean things. I've seen a difference in their behavior, too. Good thing.
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johnnie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. That's cool
It should be like this in every school.
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. One of the reasons we switched to this public school, actually.
The Catholic school we had them in got too expensive and had serious bullying issues. This one we're already paying for in our taxes, and they really put their money behind their bullying policy. We've already seen a positive impact on the kids.

Yes, every school should have a bullying policy. In Michigan, they have to next year, I think. Granholm got a law through, if I remember right.
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Snarkturian Clone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
11. The school I work in has a sexual harassment program
once a year. That's about as close as we get to a tolerance program. They tried to have a tolerance program of sorts in relation to a certain issue but too many parents complained and the school caved (I didn't mention the issue in question because the discussion about the certain demographic's reaction to a certain issue has been done and overdone on this board and need not be started again).
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WGS Donating Member (116 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
13. Teaching respect
is the job of parents, not teachers....their job is to reinforce the belief that all people have worth and should not be bullied....
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 04:55 PM
Response to Original message
14. Quite a few districts mandate it.
I've taught the TRIBES curriculum at two schools.

http://www.tribes.com/
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 07:43 PM
Response to Original message
16. My school does.
We're a small K-8 school, and our counselor not only counsels, she teaches in every class. She has a planned curriculum, and she also addresses whatever issues are happening in that particular group.

She spends a great deal of time with my 6th - 8th graders, and I'm grateful.
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