Lewis Central High School believes that to do well in school, students need to be comfortable with who they are and feel physically and emotionally safe. In this effort to create a safe and caring culture, we partner with Youth Frontiers to facilitate a Respect Retreat®. The past two years our sophomores have experienced the high-energy, interactive retreat and it is scheduled for the fall of this upcoming school year.
The Respect Retreat focuses on creating a more positive school community by engaging students in a variety of activities that build students’ empathy and perspective-taking skills and teach safe ways to help prevent bullying. Facilitators from Youth Frontiers and student leaders from L.C.H.S. lead the retreat. The four goals that drive the retreat: First, enhance social-emotional learning competencies like empathy and conflict resolution. Second, connect students to classmates, teachers and school. Third, challenge students to act with kindness, courage and respect. Finally, engage learners of all styles and backgrounds. The Respect Retreat also supports Lewis Central High School’s three Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support pillars of success: Respect, Responsibility and Initiative.
Follow up lessons are used to solidify the student’s experience from the fall retreat. Each lesson has a quote that frames the lesson. Relevant information is discussed on the topic and then students are asked to reflect with their peers using a discussion question. An example is below:
Quote - “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” ~Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Information- An estimated 160,000 students miss school everyday because they fear being bullied (Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning). Usually, the things that get in our way are not actual obstacles, but the fear of what will happen. Is the reason you don’t stand up for someone being bullied because you are afraid of what others will do? Show some courage next time and stand up for what is good – make a stand for respect in this school.
Discussion Question - What are fears people face in school that prevent school from being a good place?
In addition to the Respect Retreat follow up lessons with sophomores, our entire school has Titan Time lessons related to the topics of harassment, bullying, and teasing. Here is just one sample of lesson used with all grade levels during Titan Times. In addition to classroom lessons we have methods to allow students to report issues related to these topics on our webpage, in our main office or simply reporting to a staff member.
Students feeling safe is our number one priority!