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Op-ed: Does this new curriculum cross the line?
New curriculum aims to stop spread of violence with “character development”
Unfortunately, it seems that school violence has reached an all-time high, as ‘kids will be kids’ bullying has escalated from hurt feelings to suicide, and banned items from campus have gone from slingshots to guns. In a time when hardly any parent feels safe sending their child to school, or any student feels safe on campus, should schools now also teach what it means to be a good person?
At least one teacher thinks so.
Created by Bobbi Callis, a mother and full-time reading intervention teacher, Veracity Matters is a multimedia character education program for children in elementary school, which hopes to reduce the percentage of children who suffer from bullying and depression.
The program, geared toward children from pre-K to eighth grade, emphasizes concepts such as empathy, manners and character values to young children, not just to stop the cycle of violence, but to also help them prepare for college and job interviews.
The fully-online program is “designed to teach children the problem-solving skills and core character value that are lacking in today’s schools…[it] emphasizes to children important communication skills needed in order to become productive citizens-skills that colleges and companies value.”
In theory, the curriculum, chocked full of videos, science experiments, physical activities, and animations, looks promising…but will it set a dangerous precedent?
(Next page: The implications of a ‘character’ program)