Middle school can be toxic, especially if bullying goes unchecked. That’s why the young people at our MS 226 Beacon Center launched a widespread effort to make their community feel safe.
Recently the Peace Keepers, as the students call themselves, were featured in an anti-bullying segment on NY1, where they beautifully conveyed their vision of a more peaceful world. You can see the clip here.
Among other activities, the Peace Keepers created a youth council that studied tolerance, presented anti-bullying messages to the community, and learned techniques for conflict resolution.
Angelika Peacock, director of the Beacon Center, said the youth council helped kids put themselves in each other’s shoes. “Always, by the end of the mediation sessions, the tensions are resolved,” she said.
One of the council’s biggest successes was with a kid who was constantly teased. Over time, he became a leader in the group, helping others understand what it felt like to be an outcast. The project has become a permanent part of the Beacon program at MS 226. Thank you to the Aline and Leo Jacobsohn Foundation, which makes this program possible.