We started a diversity committee at our historically peaceful public elementary school (Torrey Pines Elementary School, La Jolla, San Diego) and decided to create our very new lunch/recess club to prevent bullying often around perceived or real identity differences. We wish to heal this divide, as well as the isolation that contributes beyond bullying to school shootings, young people joining gangs and terrorist groups. Examples of other work across the US: No One Eats Alone, Circle of Friends, Beyond Differences, will be shared. I'll discuss our steps to get up and running, possible barriers, and ways to implement similar programs in more contentious settings/communities, as well as a model to use/adapt, resources, websites, articles, and videos. If possible, staff will attend, as well a student “Friend Connector" or two to share stories about their experiences and advice for the “grown-ups." Discussion and Q&A will be used throughout the presentation.
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