Our educational programs are needed now more than ever in schools

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A slew of recent reports around disturbing schoolyard violence being uploaded onto social media highlights – now more than ever – the need for the Foundation’s educational programs.

Teachers are telling us that our Be Wise educational presentations are making an impact on students and are starting conversations at home as well as within campus.

Recently we’ve begun reaching out to all schools to take advantage of our newly released suite of e-learning initiatives and lesson plans that now cover all ages.   

While we commend the hundreds of teachers and tens of thousands of students that have already embraced our messages, we do stress however that everyone in our community has a part to play in reducing violence – from parents to teachers, media organisations as well as of course social media platforms.

The adage of “it takes a village to raise a child” is never truer when it comes to equipping young people with the ability to manage powerful emotions, as our Foundation director Matt Cronin explains in the clip above.

On this page:

  • ‘Fighting for likes’ on social media
  • What own our stats about kids and violence reveal
  • What we can offer
  • Our presentations
  • E-learning program for high schools
  • Lesson plans for primary schools

‘Fighting for Likes’ on social media

In addition to well-documented disruptive schoolyard behaviour Australian schools have witnessed in the wash-up to COVID lockdowns, part of the feedback we’re getting from teachers is that students are engaging in organised violence in the hunt for “likes” on social media.

News outlets have highlighted social media footage of youths – including girls – violently attacking each other.

While social media can be an excellent way to connect with others, it can also be a breeding ground for harmful and inappropriate content, and perpetuates a need for constant validation.

Young people often feel pressure to present themselves in a certain way online and to get likes and followers, creating a distorted sense of self-worth.

In the words of one organisation that recently approached us, kids are literally “fighting for likes”.

Apart from questions around the ability of social media giants to swiftly manage these disturbing posts, it also underscores the necessity of news media – from where we stand – to cover these incidents without resorting to sensationalism.

What our own stats about kids and violence reveal

Our own research has revealed that almost one quarter of high school students like to watch fights in the playground, over one-third have been in a physical fight and 36 per cent either agree or are at least neutral on the question of whether it’s fun to tease classmates.

The figures – which clearly lay bare some worrying perspectives – are based on surveys of thousands of high school students across Victoria in 2022 prior to our Be Wise educational presentations. Importantly, according to our post presentation surveys, 90 per cent of 21,000-plus students indicated our presentation would be useful in their lives – and most would recommend it to others.    

What we can offer:

Our presentations:

The Pat Cronin Foundation has been teaching kids about the devastating impacts of social violence and arming them with strategies to handle conflict through our powerful Be Wise presentation since 2016.

Due to demand, we’ve begun rolling out a second presentation, Think Carefully, that drills down further into practical, real-world strategies to deal with potentially violent confrontation.      

E-learning program for high schools  

Our Violence Prevention E-learning for secondary schools is a classroom-ready self-paced teaching tool to:

  •  Help students realise the full impact of violence
  • Challenge students to reflect on what makes them angry
  • Arm students with tools to assess and avoid risks
  • Help students recognise and respond to social violence
  • Provide relatable stories and self-reflection opportunities 

Here’s what to expect: Watch Preview

Lesson Plans for primary Schools

We believe that educating kids as soon as possible about how to handle conflict.

Our Be Wise Story Book Lesson Plans comprise three purpose-written books for youngsters from Prep to Grade 6 as well as activity driven sessions and lesson plans based on the books.

The resources include activity sheets and role-playing scenarios, building on the characters’ experiences in the books to encourage students to explore feelings and emotions.

Students explore how they relate to positive and negative actions and will make connections to the consequences of these actions.   

Get in touch for a tailored solution at your school

Our teaching resources are available at our online shop. You can also book our Be Wise educational presentation here too.   

To find out more about any of our resources, please contact us.

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