Special thanks to Kidshealth.org, great role-playing activities regarding bullying here: http://kidshealth.org/classroom/6to8/problems/emotions/bullying.pdf
We entered the small auditorium with just ten minutes before the show was to begin. Both students looked to me, nervously, turning their heads left to right, and back again, scanning the large audience. I had been invited to speak about Conflict Resolution at a Trauma in Education Conference, and I invited two students to come with me to present. I clapped each on the back, simultaneously, and said, “Look, donuts.” We made our way to the snack table, then found our seats. Both students stayed fairly engaged with their jelly donuts during the program’s introduction. One inadvertently wore some of the jelly on his chin. The audience applause after the Brain Impacts of Trauma segment meant that we were next. We went up.
I opened our segment with a short description of restorative practices and slides of ice-breaker and trust activities we use. The audience was attentive and clapped as I introduced Darnell and Tony, two students from the program. Darnell described a usual program day, told about what we actually did. Tony described the expectations the program had of students. Then the audience was invited to ask questions. One woman asked, “How has this program changed you?” Darnell spoke up, and as he did, his voice wavered. “It’s made me change the way, change the way I think and feel about myself,” he said. “And, what way is that,” the woman pressed. Darnell thought for a moment, then grinned. “Well, that I can stay outta trouble.” The audience laughed with him as he said it, a smile on his fourteen-year-old face. “And Tony, how about you?” The same audience member persisted. Tony stepped to the microphone, and looked right at her as he answered. ” I know that I can control myself, control my actions, and that I can think before acting,” he spoke eloquently. He smiled as he finished. And the audience clapped. Both students smiled, I smiled, the host smiled and we all shook hands. Next presenter.
Later as we left the conference, I asked them: “How did you do?” Both answered resolutely, smiles beamed. “We did great!” And, they did.