Working 2gether Tuesdays
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working 2gether is greater than being divided
working 2gether is greater than being divided
FROM CHAPTER 6 OF THE BOOK/MANUAL "HOW TO MESS UP THE AMERICAN EDUCATION SYSTEM"
HAVE A SYSTEM OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION AND RESTORATIVE JUSTICE!! Students and faculty need to have a system in place for solving conflicts, differences of opinions, and learning the skills for problem solving. This is a vital piece of the 365 Success System by Working 2gether Inc. Again, whether you use my system or another one...it just needs to be at every school regardless of elementary/middle/high school. We need to create the culture where students feel that they are understood as opposed to having to deal constantly with “You Need To Understand Me” from educators.
This Conflict Resolution program is always working to give power to students. There is nothing more powerful than students working together to solve problems. The Working 2gether conflict resolution program has been helping students and schools since 1993. It teaches students how to listen effectively, communicate effectively, deal with their emotions, and work through conflicts without winners or losers (Parents! It works in your home, too!!). Having trained peer conflict mediators available throughout the day gives ways for students to work through issues that normally would result in a needless suspension. Having peer conflict mediators throughout the day helps students buy into creating their own positive school climate. In fact, the curriculum for the peer counseling class that uses the conflict resolution program is set up in an easy to use, extremely powerful delivery system. This class goes further than just conflict resolution and includes grief, anxiety, accurate thinking, and more.
This program works hand in hand with any restorative justice system that a school implements. Parent workshops (From Conflict Resolution and Restorative Justice combined) teach parents how to positively work through conflicts at home. Restorative Justice is an effective alternative to punitive responses for wrongdoing. Inspired by indigenous traditions, it brings together persons harmed with persons responsible for harm in a safe and respectful space, promoting dialogue, accountability, and a stronger sense of community. Done correctly...it builds relationships! Done correctly...it helps students feel more connected to their school. Restorative justice is a philosophical framework that can be applied in a variety of contexts -- the justice system, schools, families, communities, and others. I encourage you to find a local restorative justice training and make it happen!! (One that I recommend is California Conference for Equality and Justice.)
To further show the reality that this is life and death for our students/children.
Every year approximately 1.3 million students – THAT’s 7,000 every school day – do not graduate from high school as scheduled. About 75 percent of America’s state prison inmates, almost 59 percent of federal inmates, and 69 percent of jail inmates did not complete high school. (Note: In most Southern states these percentages are higher.) Dropouts are more than eight times as likely to be in jail or prison as high school graduates. (www.silentepidemic.org, 2008). A male high school graduate with a D average is fourteen times more likely to become incarcerated than a graduate with an A average (Arum & Beattie, 1999)This manual is about messing up existing systems that are oppressive by design and intent. (I urge you to read Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow”)
This chapter illustrates the convergence of capitalism and racism. These statistics are older but pertain still today. The for profit prison “industry”...“The U. S. spends an average of $9,644 a year to educate a student National Center for Education Statistics, 2004). The average cost per inmate is approximately $25,000. In some states the cost is over $30,000 per prisoner per year. “ In 2017 California ranked anywhere from 22nd to 46th in per pupil spending while moving close to $75,000 per inmate spending. I used the older stats to show that we truly pay lip service to real change vs what this manual is stating to do.
As of 2013, 37 percent of male inmates in state or federal prisons were black, 32 percent white and 22 percent Hispanic, according to the BJS. (Bureau of Justice Statistics) (Whites make up about 77 percent of the total U.S. population, compared to 13 percent for blacks and 17 percent for Hispanic or Latino, according to the Census.) Private correctional facilities were a $4.8 billion industry in 2014, with profits of $629 million, according to market research firm IBISWorld.
It’s not about strategies...It’s about psychology. Incremental changes are wrong. Massive Systemic changes are of life and death importance. We (The American Education System) are complicit in the massive amounts of locked up human beings.
IT STARTS TODAY! 2gether we will!!
Michael Gray is a School Climate Enhancer and a specialist in pointing student-athletes in the right direction academically.