Seung-Hui Cho was bullied by fellow high school students who mocked his shyness and the strange way he talked, according to classmates. He probably heard “Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!” over and over again. “Sorry” a word forced under pressure in schools across the country. “Sorry” is what students like Cho receive over and over again, and then the perpetrator receives a time out, detention, work detail, suspension or expulsion. “Lociento” is the Spanish word for Sorry and means “I feel for you.” Picture someone forced in anger to say “Sorry!” but instead insert the phrase “I feel for you!!!” Sounds ludicrous. Now imagine someone punching a student in the nose and then shortly thereafter saying “I feel for you!”
After this insincere, forced apology, the perpetrator then becomes resentful toward the victim and attempts to be more covert in hurting or provoking the victim the next time. Additionally, these punishments isolate or further creates a divide between the perpetrator from the victim rather than repair the relationship. A principal of a large private school called Jim West to ask for advice with a couple of students that were enemies for 3 years. One student pushed another student in the bathroom and hit his head on the wall and the parents were very upset. Jim recommended the A-M-C Plan for the student. A-Apologize, and M-Make it Up to “make it up to him” cleaning out his desk or carry his backpack for the day. The student did not want to do either plan, but the principal wisely responded by saying “why not think about it and we will deal with it first thing the next morning” as she realizes when we are angry we need time to cool down.
Temporary Insanity: When we are angry we are “Temporarily Insane” and do not think logically and may say or do something we would not normally otherwise. The next morning the boy entered her office and, get this, he offered to both carry the other boy’s backpack & clean out his desk. Now these boys had been enemies for three years, so when it came time for his backpack to be carried do you think the victim would let the other boy out of his sight with his backpack[?] . . . NO WAY!
So picture two boys walking down the hall together, one carrying 2 backpacks and the other snickering a little but starting to connect throughout the day. This happens in schools using the AMC plan all over the state because if the person responsible does not “Make it Up” then they lose their privileges at school until they do comply. So back to the two boys walking together the rest of the day . . . I spoke with the father of one of the boys about a year ago and was told the boys have been spending the night and doing things together ever since and that was 1 1/2 years later. So what’s exciting about this illustration is that with this plan, instead of isolating the perpetrator with punishment, the kids are given a format to repair or rebuild the relationship by “making it up.” Would the Virginia Tech incident have been avoided if this system was used in Cho’s school to not only have the students apologize, but have them do something that repairs the hurt and the relationship. The boy in the school illustration was made aware by the principal that there would be an additional C-Consequence if this happens again and the consequence is always an “additional task or chore” for the victim to assure the student this would not happen again. However, it’s rare that it goes beyond the first step.
DETENTION ELIMINATION: Some schools have incorporated this process in their discipline program and have seen a 50% drop in discipline problems and have eliminated their after school detention program.
BULLYING PROGRAM: This program is also used by schools to reduce Bullying by teaching students positive socialization, giving them an opportunity each day to practice positive socialization, greeting their classmates by the end of the week each week, learning how to resolve conflict with the AMC Plan and how to repair past hurts. Students are also more inclusive, more on time to school as they are eager to have a 4-5 students each day greet, compliment and affirm them each day. Click here to download the brochure for this consultation. The seminar is available on DVD ator call us at 407-248-0030 to order the DVD or set up a phone consultation.
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