Bullying, Bias & Diversity at School

“Hot-seating” the chacters in the interactive scene, “What We don’t See”

“Hot-seating” the chacters in the interactive scene, “What We don’t See”

 

Bullying is a serious problem in our nation’s schools, with far-reaching consequences that can include stress, depression, physical illness, and diminished ability to learn.  Impact Interactive engages educators in honest dialogue about bullying at school. Using our unique theatre-based techniques, we work with educators to examine the connections between diversity, bias and bullying, to identify and acknowledge the challenges educators face when talking about and handling these issues, and to explore strategies for creating a more positive and inclusive school climate.

This program is appropriate for educators who work with middle or high school students. It includes interactive activities, small group discussion, a scripted, interactive scene (description below), and addresses the following questions:

  • How do bullying and bias manifest themselves at school and what is their impact on students, teaching and learning?

  • What challenges do educators face when it comes to talking about and handling bullying, bias and diversity situations?

  • How might an educator’s attitudes, values, unconscious biases, and comfort with challenging conversations, and impact the way they handle bullying, bias, and diversity situations at school?

  • What can educators do (both individually and as a group) to create a school environment that is more inclusive and where students and teachers feel safe and can do their best work?

“What We Don’t Know”
Ellen Judson and Marty Cooper both love teaching.  But some days are tougher than others, and this particular Monday poses significant challenges for both of them.  From phones in the hallway and cliquey girls to racial bullying and sexual harassment, these two veteran teachers are called on to handle a myriad of difficult situations as they navigate their day.  Despite their good intentions, the constraints of a demanding schedule — along with their personal attitudes, values, unconscious biases, and comfort level intervening in conflict — lead both teachers to make choices that inadvertently erode student trust, and in some cases exacerbate the problems. Tensions heighten as the day progresses, and the scene freezes when Mrs. Judson struggles to engage a class full of students so distressed by the events of the day, that they are unable to focus and learn.