Dear Readers: The best ‘in-school’ solution I know to make schools places where kids are welcomed by their peers, versus places of harm, is the “Safe School Ambassadors” program. The program works with human nature: Kindness is contagious — if a popular kid does it.
The Safe School Ambassadors program takes select teachers and the most popular kids from every clique on campus and honors them with effective peacemaker training. Former bullies are now those giving a hand. Others are now brave enough to intervene when they see signs of bullying or exclusion. I contacted some “Ambassadors” and this indeed happens — consistently in over 1000 schools (read our column APR 27, 2011). The program is brilliant, proven and affordable. For more information, see www.community-matters.org.
For today’s column, I asked the panel what would make our schools safer. Their ideas are excellent and root-cause oriented: Stop drugging our kids. Stop glorifying their killers. Free childhood of television and video games and enrich it with art, nature, nobility and brotherhood. Replace our national obsession with violence with an obsession for education and mental health. And until the train wreck stops: Arm select teachers.
It is a wise culture that listens to their youth. —Lauren
Editor's Note: It is up to every parent to become involved in their child’s education. School today is many a child’s top site for receiving psycho-emotional harm — which is why schools are targets. If you cannot afford private school, or there is no public Waldorf-inspired (or other inspirational) charter school in your area, consider going to work for a private school, start a charter, or join a home school community. Or fundraise with other parents to put the Safe School Ambassadors program into your public school. It actively puts noble values into the school — through the contagion of kindness. Your school will become one with nonexistent fights and kids who are happy to be there. Read our column of APR 27, 2011 for a picture painted by the Ambassadors themselves. To contact the program directly, visit www.community-matters.org.
I want to point out that every family controls the electronic on-off switch in their home. The commercial media we put in front of our kids is the nanny from hell. Up until high school, I raised four kids with no TV or computer and they thanked me during the process. It did not set them back. Or even make them feel insulated. Quite the contrary. They were highly social and raising them was a joy. Their bodies were active. Their minds were engaged, resourceful, and with self-control (lack of control is what most kids are drugged for). Plus, there was no begging for sugary junk foods because they never saw it advertised — thus even more body-centered self-confidence for them.
A note about mental illness and disorders: Yes, they are on the rise. Today’s kids are the fourth generation of humans eating a far-from-ideal (some would say, tragic) human diet. Dr. Pottenger ended his experiment with cats fed a sub-optimal diet at the fourth generation because there was so much mental illness. He returned the cats to their ideal diet and it took seven generations for them to return to perfect health. Humans are at that juncture now and it is of utmost importance that we “reverse the experiment” and return to an ideal diet, too. It is our only solid hope for the future. The only ideal diet I have found is the diet discovered by Dr. Weston Price of select traditional peoples, all whom enjoyed perfect health. —Lauren
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