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Bolles Students and Teachers Facilitated Convocation Discussion Groups

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Mrs. Clubb and Kayla Fender ('17) facilitated a discussion after One Love with a group of Mrs. Clubb's English periods.

Mrs. Clubb and Kayla Fender ('17) facilitated a discussion after One Love with a group of Mrs. Clubb's English periods.

Andrew Culver

Andrew Culver

Mrs. Clubb and Kayla Fender ('17) facilitated a discussion after One Love with a group of Mrs. Clubb's English periods.

Kris McQueen, Contributing Writer

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Bolles staff and administration were able to facilitate small groups of a few students each after the One Love convocation and the Drunk Driving convocation and found the time with the students enjoyable.

Art and Art History teacher, Ms. Helen Meatte, said many students were responsive in her group, “There was no hesitation after the student facilitator asked the first question and conversation flowed from there.”

The convocation was a viewing of a short film that followed a couple’s relationship throughout their college experience. Throughout the film, the young man would often verbally abuse his girlfriend, eventually escalating to physical violence and sexual assault.

The One Love Convocation was held for the juniors and seniors in the auditorium on April 7th. The convocation talked about relationship violence and the signs of relationship abuse. Afterwards, staff and a few students facilitated small groups to debrief with the upper class men.

“The main thing about convocations is, preconceived notions aside, you have to keep your teaching open to all the kids,” said Ms. Rippel, the director of the fine and performing arts.

College counselor, Daphne Vagenas, also spoke on the conversations afterward, saying while there were some silly remarks out of nervousness and being uncomfortable with the topic, the students addressed the conversation with respect and maturity, “I think that more students will recognize warning signs and will be more willing to reach out to someone they think may be in a dangerous situation.”

Mrs. Bethany Stone, a mathematics teacher, said it was helpful to have other students facilitate along with the teachers. “Even though most students probably left thinking it would never happen to them, it is good for them to know the signs.” Math teacher, Mrs. Stone remarked. She is one of many teachers who agreed that the discussion groups were a good idea.

Mr. Ryan Brewer, a Biology teacher, also noted on the success of the discussion groups, saying, “It’s better to debrief after than just traumatize the students and then send them to their next class.”

In the gymnasium, the sophomore and freshman classes were watching a documentary about a man, Blake McMeans, and his life after a car crash due to drinking and driving. After the documentary, the students were able to hear McMeans give a speech about his life now, and how everything has changed.

Students were also divided, like the juniors and seniors were, into small groups to talk about the film and speech.

Mr. Michael Rivera, a chemistry teacher, said the convocation was a reminder that even though people think these things will never happen to them, it can. Talking about McMeans, Mr. Rivera reflected on the event, “It was good to see how it changed his life, for the rest of his life.”

Dean assistant, Ms. Noelle Cooper, said this was a good reminder to the students that mistakes happen, saying, “It lets them know that adults aren’t right all the time and make mistakes too.”

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Bolles Students and Teachers Facilitated Convocation Discussion Groups