Bringing Love and Respect Back to Campus
In recent years, campus shootings, though extremely rare has spread fear across the country. These gun violence were mostly committed by youngsters of high school ages. Schools should be considered “a home away from home”; a safe haven where students go to learn . Why have schools become a place for gun violence? Could our education system be failing us? Or has the new technological landscape adversely affected human interactions and relationships. Lisa Tsai, who is a mother of 3 shared her thoughts at the World Citizen Forum.
Lisa mentioned a series of courses offered in elementary schools called “Project Cornerstone”. It is designed to help children develop their minds and personalities with the ultimate goal of teaching children to love themselves as well as others. Unfortunately, to keep up with an ever increasing fast-paced lifestyle, our children often found themselves overwhelmed by endless examinations and extracurricular activities at a time when freedom in actions and thinking are crucial. The stress of modern life makes the built-in reward systems of video games addicting to children. Worried that violent video games could become exemplary teachers of aggression, Lisa thinks that schools should be offering courses to teens that promote harmonious relationships with others. In these classes, virtues like kindness, patience, temperance, good temper, courage, truthfulness, friendliness, etc could be nurtured and encouraged.
From a parent’s perspective, Lisa feels that the stages between childhood and adulthood are challenging times for every youngsters. Making this transition could be an awkward and baffling time for them as they are yet to fully develop their psychological state of mind. All the more reason they need positive energy to help direct them in making the right decisions. In addition to parents’ guidance and support at home, schools could do more in encouraging and fostering this positive energy. Lisa has a few suggestions on how it could be achieved:
1. Schools could offer/organize simple courses based on the needs of their students.
2. Provide a platform to enable better teacher- student communication. For example, engaging qualified counselors to meet with students or parents regularly. He/she could understand more about the students and their family situations and thus allow for early detection of any problems.
3. Counselors could meet with students periodically to give early assistance to those in need.
4. Offer dialectical behavior courses to provide practical skills to students to help them deal more effectively with social pressures.
Lastly, Lisa quoted Article 6 of Declaration of World Citizens: “Nourish and educate young generations with conscience, as well as place emphasis on the education of character, human rights and life.” Schools should not be a place just for studying. It should be a place that young adults trust and depend on. A place where they could interact with each other through the most authentic words and sincerity. Consequently, young generation could be guided out of the pressure of studies and out of the virtual reality on the Internet. Hence bringing Love and Respect back to campus.
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