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Teaching the Importance of “YOU” is Key for Young Adults

It’s the small things that have large consequences in middle school circles. Politically charged subjects such as terrorism and economic uncertainty are merely blips o the radar in a world dependent on Snapchat “streaks”, Twitter “retweets” and Instagram “likes.” It is a unique voice that resonates with children ages 11-14.

The above article supports The Partner Project’s decision to present life lessons, in an age-appropriate format, to middle-school children. And while we have been met with hesitance by some middle school administrations, some have stepped up in the best interest of their students. Those courageous leaders have started to address very real and troubling issues by allowing us to facilitate the conversation with students.

If administrators and academics truly want to stem the tide of stress, depression and suicide among middle school children, certain things need to be changed:

  • Treat all students equally. Whether they are candidates for valedictorian, charter members of summer school or members of LGBTQ+ community, the practice of being-overly supportive or negative to certain groups, confirms their “different” status.

  • More time nerds to be dedicated to earning life skills such as acceptance, and lessening the need to identify one’s self. By teaching students that their presence in the world IS their identity, it will give them the dialogue to answer questions they previously couldn’t.

  • Discontinue using the word “bullying” A comparison of the CDC’s definition and New York State Penal Law definition of harassment/aggregated harassment have enough in commonality to refer to bullying as what it actually is, criminal-like behavior or abuse. Bullying infers that the experience is specific to a certain time in life, the word reminds of the cartoon with the big kid standing over the small kid. It is more than that. It is criminal activity,

Frederick Douglas once stated, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men,” While Mr. Douglas’ statement was specific to men, the same can be said for all children regardless of how they identify themselves, by raising children to have a strong senses of self and to grow in a positive fashion, articles like the one above will be less common and articles written with Fredrick Douglas’ philosophy on life in mind, will take place.

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