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For too long, our society has shrugged off bullying by labeling it a 'rite of passage' and by asking students to simply 'get over it.' Those attitudes need to change. Every day, students are bullied into silence and are afraid to speak up. Let's break this silence and end school bullying.
Once you allow yourself to identify with the people in a story, then you might begin to see yourself in that story even if on the surface it's far removed from your situation. This is what I try to tell my students: this is one great thing that literature can do - it can make us identify with situations and people far away.
I've led a school whose faculty and students examine and discuss and debate every aspect of our law and legal system. And what I've learned most is that no one has a monopoly on truth or wisdom. I've learned that we make progress by listening to each other, across every apparent political or ideological divide.
During my eleven years as a New York City public school teacher, I saw firsthand the impact that poverty has on the classroom. In low-income neighborhoods like Sunset Park, where I taught, students as young as five years old enter school affected by the stresses often created by poverty: domestic violence, drug abuse, gang activity.
One of the issues I kept saying to my students is you have to learn to interrupt. When you raise your hand at a meeting, by the time they get to you, the point is not germane. So the bottom line is active listening. If you are going to interrupt, you look for opportunities. You have to know what you're talking about.