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.
“There were three of us at first,” said Beatrice Winston, 18. “We were freshmen, all shy and scared.” The three girls, each struggling with her sexual identity, felt very alone in their new school. But they found courage in each other and decided to start an LGBTQ club. One by one, other teens joined. A social worker at their school agreed to facilitate the club, which
became a safe haven.
When the club had the opportunity to make a short film, through a partnership between The Child Center of NY’s Beacon Center in Far Rockaway and The Tribeca Film Institute, they knew exactly what they wanted it to say. Continue reading