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Bullying Prevention Workshops for Students

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The Howard Gray Experience

Facilitating Courageous Conversations With Young People
A courageous conversation, according to David Whyte , is an internal dialogue in which a person invites his or her true essence to surface (Crossing the Unknown Sea p. 14). In a learning situation, courageous conversation can be achieved if the proper setting is created.

Using song, story, and dialogue, David A. Levine creates this setting, encouraging students to reflect on their choices and how these choices affect themselves and others. David works with the students' ideas in exploring essential issues:

Understanding differences
Practicing empathy
Offering and receiving support
Respecting the power of words and actions

The cornerstone of this session is the song Howard Gray, which tells the true story of a boy who is different and who is ridiculed by his peers because of this difference. The song, told from the point of view of one of those who has done the ridiculing, invites listeners to consider the mysteries of peer influence and the long-term consequences of behavior that is hurtful to others. Individual sessions ideally involve smaller groups (10-50 students at a time) and take approximately one hour to complete.