On March 10, Paul Coughlin, founder of The Protectors, an internationally recognized organization, was invited to help our school do more to recognize and reduce bullying. Coughlin was on campus for two days to address students, staff, faculty, and parents to bring his wisdom, insights, and experience to our community. By helping these various groups in knowing how to handle adolescent behavior in a biblical manner, we hope this partnership would help our students obtain courage, faith, and leadership skills for life. The end goal is to foster courage and leadership in our students to help create a beautiful community at King’s Way.
Studies tell us that when children witness bullying (this includes nearly all children ages twelve and older) and do not respond in a prosocial way, their capacity for courage, sympathy, and related virtues actually decreases. But the opposite is also true. When children respond to bullying in a strong and non-violent manner, their capacity for courage, sympathy, and related virtues increases then and into the future. They literally become more righteous than before, and the courage they gain will help them become greater leaders now and into adulthood.
Even more important than standing up to bullying, however, is proactively creating a community where students are kind, compassionate, respectful, and accepted by their peers as well as their teachers and administrators. Coughlin’s visit was an encouraging one for our campus community.
Students Take The Reins
Additionally, on February 7th, approximately 35-40 King’s Way high school students attended a one-day leadership conference at the Murdock Trust led by Coughlin that covered topics such as:
- Understand what “community” really means
- Recognize what dysfunctional communities are and why
- Consider what healthy, positive communities are
- Examine their own school communities and consider how to make them beautiful communities
Throughout the day, students were encouraged to consider what part they can play in making their schools into environments that are positive, nurturing, safe, healthy, and conducive to spiritual and emotional life and vitality.