Violence Prevention Grey Bruce Creates Teaching Tools for Catholic School Board.
Violence Prevention Grey Bruce has created two online lessons for the Bruce Grey Catholic District School Board. The video lessons walk students through activities exploring gender stereotypes and healthy relationships and are now available publicly at www.vpgb.ca under the Educational Activities initiative.
Violence Prevention Grey Bruce coordinator Jon Farmer was originally scheduled to facilitate the activities in workshops to intermediate students at Notre Dame through April and May. When the pandemic shut down schools, school social worker Krista McCorkindale contacted Farmer to adapt the activities.
“I was excited to figure out how to make this work”, Farmer said. “I’ve delivered these workshops in person for students dozens of times so I knew the material could be engaging but the challenge was to keep the interactive spirit in a pre-recorded video. It worked out”.
The end results are publicly available on the Violence Prevention website. The videos are 15 and 19 minutes long respectively but include many places to pause so viewers can think through the questions. Viewers only need two pieces of paper and a pen to participate.
According to Farmer, it’s important to give young people the opportunity to examine and question social pressures and their personal beliefs.
“When it comes to gender norms and expectations about relationships, we pick up harmful stereotypes without realizing it. Societal pressures to fit in to narrow gender expectations push a lot of people to hide or change who they are in ways that can hurt them and others. Similar pressures to conform to expectations about relationships can also lead people to accept unhealthy and harmful behaviour instead of standing up for their personal beliefs and boundaries. When young people get to articulate their values it becomes easier to live them”.
The videos were shared with intermediate students from Notre Dame through the end of the school year. Farmer is also encouraging parents across Grey Bruce to work through the activities with their children at home. The activities have previously been facilitated with students as young as grade five and are designed to allow many grades to work through the questions in ways that illicit age appropriate responses.