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ERIC Number: EJ762675
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1066-2847
True Blue
Mattise, M. Christine
Teaching Tolerance, n25 p18-21 Spr 2004
Traditional interventions (small group, individual counseling, classroom guidance, parent conferences) were obviously having little or no effect to stop bullying among children. The bullies had stuck with their project relentlessly, using snide looks, vicious whispering and a systematic plan to totally isolate one child on the playground. These children had no language or context to understand why their hurtful behaviors were so painful and damaging. That became the author's goal: She would create this absent language for children in schools. She called it "Hurt-Free Schools." Her pledge to create a language of empowerment for children led her to South Africa, a country struggling to recover from a giant among all-time bullies, apartheid. She has spent the past three summers teaching the Hurt-Free model in South Africa. As her work evolved, she developed the basic foundation for her vision: the positive presence of a school community that promises to work together to weave a web of emotional, social and physical safety around every child. Of all the elements of a Hurt-Free School, she believes the most vital concept is that it is child-friendly. She chose the rainbow to embody her child-friendly vision. The "Rainbow of Safety," as she calls it, meets all of her criteria: universal and protective, honoring individuality, and celebrating diversity. The Rainbow of Safety uses four colors to help children process decisions about their behaviors in school. Rather than accept the hopelessness that keeps bullying alive, the Rainbow of Safety offers a neutral language that teaches all children to claim their rights to safety while respecting those of others.
Southern Poverty Law Center. 400 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36104. Tel: 334-956-8200; Fax: 334-956-8484; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa; South Africa