Charlotte students work to eliminate bullying from classroom - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Charlotte students work to eliminate bullying from classroom

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) students took time out from hitting the books to come up with solutions. About 100 high school students participated in the 4th Engage Summit.  

It took place at the Harvey B. Gantt Center. They discussed issues and topics students deal with everyday.  One issue was race.  

"We're able to open up the conversation around race," CMS Assoc. Supt. Deb Kaclik said. "To see how the students perceive it and impacting the environment in their schools." 

The thought was if students learned to deal with students of different backgrounds, there would be no need to bully students.  

"Develop that culture of cultural proficiency," Kaclik said. "We know it's a journey for everybody. We all have our biases. We really need to address it on a personal level - Not stop when we become aware, Not stop when we become engage to continue the conversation." 

CMS and the US Attorney's Office teamed up for this Summit.  They wanted to fight violence in the classrooms.  Students split up into groups and discussed topics such as Bias, Exclusion and gave their thoughts about the new exhibit at the Gantt center.  

The exhibit centers around a transmedia art project dealing with the African American Male perspective. Black males talk about the issues that are facing their gender and race. 

Students learned a lot.  They want bullying to end and for students to get along with each other. 

"People who be hating on other people because they are more fortunate," CMS student Travon Morgan said. "And they just start hating - starting junk, and they start fighting - so that's already a distraction from your education." 

Students are coming up with solutions to help make their schools better.  Upper classmen at one school started a mentoring program to help 6th graders get used to the school and its culture. 

Teachers are also tackling diversity to help end bullying.  Teachers will discuss race in their classrooms.  One teacher have started doing it and he claims it is making a difference. 

"They don't say any sort of racial slurs," CMS English Teacher Juan Vazquez said. "They don't say different derogatory terms for anybody of sexuality or different classes or anything of that nature. I've noticed a great change with my students."

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