“Queremos formar mejores ciudadanos. Los ciudadanos del siglo XXI que Colombia necesita. Y para lograrlo nos hemos propuesto trabajar incansablemente para que los ambientes escolares, desde los primeros años de estudio, sean ese pilar fundamental que permita construir las bases de la convivencia.”
It is with these words, that President Santos introduced Ley 1620 de 2013, an ambitious law, aimed at ensuring that Colombia’s educational institutions attend to 4 principle concerns: Citizenship competencies; Sexual, reproductive, and human rights; Bullying and; Cyber-bullying. The idea behind the law is that if we can help form better citizens, we will have a stronger, healthier, and more peaceful nation.
|“Parents are the principal architects
of a fairer society”
The Millenium Cohort Study
For those who read my last blog, you’ll note that Ley 1620 and the words of President Santos echo Dewey’s belief in the responsibility of Educational institutions in forming productive members of society in cooperation with the family and community. Equally importantly, it has an emphasis not only on bullying, but cyber-bullying, (a term coined by Bill Belsey, the Canadian expert who came to our school a few years ago to help us in our efforts.)
The reality is that the character development of our children, and dealing with the problems and crises that arise as they develop their character, is a complex process. Bullying, for example, is a very difficult issue that has factors that range from those in the school, to those in the family, to those among a students’ peers, to those in the community, to those in other institutions, to those of the student’s disposition. Further, we have to determine the causes of the situation, and how we cannot only help the student being hurt, but the student causing the harm as well. We are a school. We are here to educate and protect all of our students, especially in their most difficult moments. In doing so, we need to ensure that they develop and demonstrate the values that support “convivencia” and reinforce behaviors and attitudes that prevent bullying and aggression.
|“Other kids are watching 85% of the time
when one kid bullies another kid.
Adults like teachers or parents hardly
ever see a bully being mean to someone else.”
Our counselling team is in the process right now of revising our character and values programs, as well as in revitalizing our school climate and anti-bullying efforts. A huge initial part of this process will be to determine exactly what the principal values of the Granadino Community should be. They will be asking for feedback from all of our community stakeholders in the process, knowing the importance of our families and their support if any profound, positive impact is to come about. If we expect to truly pursue the forming of better citizens, then we will need to do so not as a school, or as a family, but truly together as a community.