Want to Create a Safer World? Create a Safer Classroom

Recent events in Mali, Paris, Beirut, and Nigeria focus our attention on the problem of extreme brutality perpetrated against innocents. As politicians debate policy proposals for dealing with terrorism abroad, scholars, community leaders, and students should not forget the importance of creating a culture of care in the classroom. 

Mainstream media seems to have forgotten about the South Carolina teen girl who suffered mistreatment and humiliation in front of her peers and her male teacher in a classroom. 

Also forgotten — the Texas teen attacked after leaving a pool party. The latter incident did not occur in a school setting, however the incident was witnessed by the girl’s peers and adults, including males.

It is important to revisit the space of the classroom where kids interact and form relationships that exist both inside and outside of the institution. Does the classroom space as a site of safety fit into the American narrative of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

Educators and policy makers may reflect on how students’ affective classroom experiences impact their life choices. 

Research questions:

  1. How does witnessing violence in a school setting impact young people’s vocational and avocational choices? 
  2. Are kids who witness abuse of other kids in school more likely to choose authoritative jobs, or uninvolved   jobs (meaning jobs where they do not typically engage in boundary-setting with peers and subordinates)?
  3. Is someone who witnessed classroom violence more likely to become a leader or a follower?

Hack LA and FWD.us Collaborate and Draw a Crowd at HUB LA on Traction

LOS ANGELES — The last Tuesday of every month techies meet, greet and strategize for political dominance. The monthly meet-ups, organized largely by groups like FWD.us and Hack LA, encourage collaboration and civic engagement. Tuesday, May 26th was no exception. Officials from county and local government gave a short presentation on LA County’s new Open Source initiative (data@lacounty.gov).

Civic leaders, web developers, and start-up culture aficionados flocked to Downtown LA’s Hub LA on Traction Avenue for a Hack LA and FWD.us collaborative event. The space is gritty, authentic LA and perfect for boisterous brainstorming and networking. The group planned an immigration event for June 27th, but the exact time and location are not yet known.

June is Immigration Heritage Month. During the meeting, reference was made to a Texas Federal Appeals Court ruling against President Obama’s immigration reform executive action. One speaker at the event from FWD.us, a 501(c)4 issue-advocacy group, vowed the organization will keep pushing for change.