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Building Peace in Our Schools

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MOVEMENT FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE FORUM

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At Saturday’s Movement for a Culture of Peace Forum. Left to right: Malik Muhammed, president of Akoben; Siddiqi Muhammed, a student at Appoquinimink High School; clinical psychologist Dr. Christina Watlington; and Will Fuller, principal of Pusitive Change Academy. (Photo by Jeffrey Lott)

PANEL SAYS RELATIONSHIPS CAN STOP SCHOOL VIOLENCE

“Policies like zero-tolerance discipline and a heavier law enforcement presence in schools may sound like quick fixes, but they don’t do anything to address the psychological issues that are causing kids to lash out violently, speakers said.”

Wilmington News-Journal
Nov. 6, 2016
By Matthew Albright

Delaware needs to rebuild relationships with traumatized youth instead of rushing to punish them for acting out, a panel of local speakers said Saturday.

Policies like zero-tolerance discipline and a heavier law enforcement presence in schools may sound like quick fixes, but they don’t do anything to address the psychological issues that are causing kids to lash out violently, the speakers said.

“I would argue that, at the root cause of violence inside of schools – and maybe by extension, violence in communities – that it is about broken, violated or a lack of relationships,” said Malik Muhammed, a former Delaware principal who now runs a community consulting and training firm, Akoben. “That is not a cute or an easy answer or suggestion for folks. It really does require us to think about some solutions that are hard.”

Muhammed led a discussion at the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew in Wilmington that was hosted by Movement for a Culture of Peace, a group of faith-based and community organizations dedicated to stopping violence.

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