“When Others Stand and Watch Them Fall, We STOP to Pick Them Up.”
submitted by Ashley Fyffe, State Vice President of Scholarships
Belton FCCLA Chapter
Students Taking on Prevention is an FCCLA national program that empowers youth with attitudes, skills, and resources in order to recognize, report, and reduce youth violence.
Violence in today's schools is too often a headline in the national news. Whether it is fighting, making threats, or bullying, violence has forced school officials to take drastic steps to address this concern. Millions of dollars have been spent on metal detectors, hidden cameras in the classrooms and hallways, and security guards. Dollars spent on security measures such as these are not spent on additional teachers, salaries, advanced technology, and facilities. But what can the students themselves do to STOP the Violence?
FCCLA members use peer education to:
• reach their peers with violence prevention education
• recognize warning signs of potential youth violence
• encourage young people to report troubling behavior
• collaborate with school and community resources to address youth violence
• Develop and implement local action projects to reduce the potential for violence in their school.
As we look at today’s society, we wonder what we can do to help with the violence. Belton’s FCCLA has the answer. On November 6, 2009, we hosted STOP the Violence Day. We had peer educators in classrooms doing activities, provided support for students, raised awareness and R5 as a guest speaker. Towards the end of the day we also had a student lead assembly on violence prevention.
Before any of the events took place we provided all of our peer educators with a 6-hour training and test run of all the activities. On STOP the Violence Day the activities addressed the range of behaviors that could be defined as violence. The definition for violence that was most common is: anything said or done that could hurt anyone in anyway. With this, we discussed: domestic abuse, verbal violence, which could just be calling someone stupid, and any form of fighting. As the conversations became more in depth and emotional we provided peer and school counselors for students to talk to.
The apex of the day was the R5 presentation. Ryan, a member of R5, discussed the way that people hurt themselves and the ways you can fix it. As a result of STOP the Violence Day, we raised awareness of violence in the community and provided students with a safe place to share their feelings.