Brave’s Club: Zero Violence from age zero
To improve the school climate, a group of schools from the Learning Communities project decided to create the Brave’s Club. It is based on a “dialogical model of conflict prevention”. Since the Club started in 2014, it has made progress in eradicating school violence in both primary and secondary schools. This strategy is making it easier to bring together effective evidence-informed practices on preventing violence in classrooms in general, and more specifically, gender violence.
Principles of the Club include:
• Avoiding the normalisation of violence. Students learn to react to any type of violence and to confront it. • Understanding that “no means no.” Students are encouraged to confront the person who practices violence whether they’re a friend, sibling, stronger or older person, and to make their position explicit by looking straight at the person: "I do not allow you to hit, to insult etc... .." • Creating solidarity among students. Students learn that if they all oppose violence, they are stronger than those who want to impose themselves by violence. That is why they come together to make what they call “the shield”: they surround the victim to protect her and they help her to face her attacker peacefully. In this way, those who defend and protect the victims are the brave ones, and belong to the Brave’s club. This approach is intended to reverse the widely accepted idea that the ones who perpetrate violence are the brave ones. • Making violent behaviour unattractive. Violent people -- "bad guys" -- are increasingly unpopular. The use of force, abuse, and other violent behaviours, are seen as cowardly, while denouncing and confronting them is brave.
This is a joint effort of the whole community, involving families, students and teachers.
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