February 2002
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Being afraid to walk down the hall because you are afraid of being verbally or physically attacked. Getting a friend to walk home with you because you fear what could happen.

Teens across Canada face the issue of intolerance and violence EVERY DAY. It happens in your province, your community, your school.

Who does it happen to? It happens to a child that is too small, too big, too smart. A child that is of different color, different culture. Who dresses different, acts different. Kids that can't afford the latest styles. Girls that play hockey, boys that figure skate. Teens that aren't part of the ‘IN GROUP'.

How do they cope? Does it happen in your school? How do media images contribute to this problem? What role does stereotyping play? How can students bring awareness to this problem? Has the problem increased since Sept 11th.

Write a news, feature, profile or opinion article for SNN's March Edition

Here are some activities you can use to help you write about these issues. Use them as class activities to stimulate discussion or discuss among friends. Tell us about your findings. Contact other schools in your area or other schools across Canada to find out what it's like in their area and how they deal with it.

1. BULLYING: It's a big problem in Canadian schools and throughout the world. Examine how the media, schools and social organizations are addressing this issue. Tell SNN about your findings. Discuss it with classmates and teachers in your school. Here are some links that might help:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/national/news/bully/ . CBC feature on this issue (Check out their video documentary)

http://www.bullying.org . Stop Bullying Website affiliated with I-Learn Canada and begun by teacher Bill Belsey of Banded Peak School, Alberta

2. BEING DIFFERENT: Check out this SNN Lesson Plan on dressing/looking differently, labelling: http://www.snn-rdr.ca/snn/lessonplan6.html .

3. GROUPS: examine the roles of cliques in schools and ways in which schools can foster tolerance among diverse groups of students with this SNN Lesson Plan http://www.snn-rdr.ca/snn/lessonplan8.html .

A. Look at some popular programs on Television like Dawson's Creek, Friends, Degrassi High, other shows popular with young people.

What is the racial/ethnic mix on the show like? From which racial groups do the main characters come? If there are a variety of groups represented on the show, are they also represented in a variety of roles? Is there any inter-racial dating? Do you think these shows reflect reality? If yes, why is reality like this? If no, how are your visions of society affected by watching these shows? Especially young children.

How would your self-image, self-esteem and self-empowerment be affected if you were one of the "missing" or misrepresented groups?

B. RACISM and Roleplaying. Need 10 students: Have 5 students assume the identity of a different culture: aboriginal, Afro-Canadian, Chinese, Iranian, etc. Have the students research about their particular culture via the internet, cultural associations in their area, students of the culture.

The other 5 are to develop questions to ask the students focussing on ‘stereotypes' they know on how these cultures may be perceived.

Here are some SNN articles that might interest you.

http://www.snn-rdr.ca/snn/092001/tolerance.html http://www.snn-rdr.ca/snn/102001/teasing.html http://www.snn-rdr.ca/snn/old/apr2000/apr2000/talkshows.html http://www.snn-rdr.ca/snn/old/apr2000/apr2000/identities.html http://www.snn-rdr.ca/snn/novissue/bullying.html http://www.snn-rdr.ca/snn/novissue/commonground.html http://www.snn-rdr.ca/snn/decissue/image.html http://www.snn-rdr.ca/snn/march2001/schoolbullying.html


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