On Friday 9 August 2013, CASSE ran its third Student Day for Student Leaders of its Peaceful Schools Program at Melbourne’s Council of Adult Education Hub.
Distinguished Rotary Peace Fellow Christel Greiner Butchart facilitated a number of workshops with the Student Leaders and Teachers, based on her extensive experience developing conflict resolution programs for middle school students in the United States.
Over 120 secondary students from five Victorian schools, including Koonung Secondary, Monterey Secondary, Berwick Boys Grammar, Catholic College Bendigo and St Joseph’s College, Echuca, attended as part of the CASSE Peaceful Schools Program, a community based, student driven approach to identifying, understanding and intervening effectively in bullying and conflict.
“CASSE offers a unique approach to creating peaceful and safe schools for all Australian children,” said Program Director, Carolyn Aston, “We help schools to not only promote understanding about bullying and conflict, but to tap into the power of altruism to empower students to react and speak up when they see bullying around them and to identify and reach out to students, staff and parents who are doing it tough in the short or long term.”
The CASSE framework is currently being piloted to a number of Victorian schools and is showing strong results in driving a positive change within the school communities.
Said John Ferris, Deputy Principal of La Valla Catholic College Bendigo, “The CASSE Schools Program has had a very significant impact on bullying in our year 7-9s and as a result we intend to broaden it soon to include our senior campus.”
In addition to participating in workshops led by Butchart, Student Day attendees enthusiastically participated in hip hop and African dance activities which reflects the School Program’s multicultural approach , and shared success stories from the CASSE program within their schools.
Following are some of the comments about the day from Monterey Secondary Students:
Q: What did you gain from sharing your presentation with other schools ?
Laughter and pride; Motivation to make CASSE grow.
Q: How do you think YOU have changed through CASSE?
I have become a better person; I have become more careful with the things I do; Becoming a better leader and showing empathy.
Q: How has your school changed through CASSE?
No more fighting; Less bullying; More people being respectful; Less fighting , more friendly; Less drama.
Q: What CHANGES would you like to see happen in the future to make it more peaceful and friendly for everyone in your school community?
I would like to see people change so everyone can get along; More friendship; No bullying at all.