White Ribbon Day
Today, Friday 23 November all classes reflected on the importance of being a White Ribbon School and demonstrating Respect for All. Each boy decorated a black rock with a white ribbon and a powerful adjective related to their learning about the significance of respect.
These rocks have been placed in a rockery half way up the school driveway as a daily reminder of what it means to be a White Ribbon School. Parents and visitors are welcome to decorate a rock as well and these are available at the school office.
The White Ribbon movement promotes the development of respectful relationships to reduce and eliminate violence against women. This is a generational change and one that we are proud to be a part, especially as it ties into our existing practices and focus on ‘respect for all’.
Why are schools important to stop violence against women?
From a young age, young people are exposed to information, messaging and behaviours that can support and condone violence against women. Young people are also already exposed to, and influenced by, domestic violence.
A critical time for forming ideas
During this critical life stage, young people are already forming ideas about men, women and their relationships. Exposure to harmful messaging and gender stereotyping can lead to attitudes that support inequality and disrespect towards women.
Exposure to violence against women also has a clear and negative impact on children and young people’s behaviour, mental health, and social development.
Breaking the cycle of violence
Schools play a pivotal role in breaking the cycle of violence by teaching young people how to recognise and challenge violence against women and build respectful relationships. Breaking the Silence engages the wider school community to promote and role model gender equality and create a safe, inclusive school culture to stop violence against women.
The Australian Government have developed an online resource www.respect.gov.au containing a variety of resources to support initiatives of this nature and this very important issue. I recommend having a look at these resources, particularly the respect checklist as it provides some insightful prompts to have this important conversation with your son or daughter.
A practical checklist to help parents and family members identify some important aspects of respect to talk about with children.
“Adults have the greatest potential influence to shape positive attitudes among young people.”
Discover the hidden meanings of common expressions that can excuse disrespectful behaviour towards girls.
Pascal Czerwenka – Deputy Head of Lindfield