Central Kitsap Students: Doing What’s Right When Others Around You Are Doing Wrong
I woke up this morning filled with gratitude for the opportunity to speak with students at Olympic and CK High in the Central Kitsap School District on Tuesday. I’m always more nervous speaking with students than with adults. I guess because I have more experience with the latter, though I also think it’s because as students pile into the auditorium they are less likely to engage me, less likely to send a smile my way and more likely to walk in with all the awkwardness that being an adolescent brings, triggering in me some of my own feelings of inadequacy.
There is a recent rise in overt bullying behavior in our nation’s schools particularly as it relates to race, religion, gender and sexual orientation. Regardless of our level of comfort with these and other diversity related topics, it is imperative that we engage students in these types of courageous conversations and help them to develop the very skills we were not taught growing up. As many adults are becoming emboldened to speak their truth at the expense of others, so too are our children.