The tragedy of school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 has left such a negative imprint on our country. It has created an environment – for those of us who are involved in education – feeling vulnerable and hypervigilant to protect our students. In light of these dangers we are diligent and concerned to provide safe environments for students.
One of the issues that is so important is the isolation factor for some of our marginalized students. These are the students who often feel alone, rejected and who sometimes seek to meet their needs in ways that are not healthy. It can cause them to be depressed and/or angry which can lead to self-destructive or even violent responses.
I am encouraged that there is a national program just announced and sponsored by Disney and Sandy Hook that seeks to train elementary students to seek out and include marginalized students in their friendships and activities. Here is the link to the release on this program:
To me this is an encouraging and appropriately positive response to this problem in our school systems. I appreciate that this program is free and available nationally to all elementary schools. The more we can provide this kind of training the more we can prevent some of our students from becoming isolated and feeling like they do not have a place among their friends.
I believe that our students need connections to other supportive relationships in addition to their families and from the friends that can help shape their self-image in a positive way. Kudos to Disney for sponsoring this program nationally!