My e-Participation Story - Page 17

A few days ago we witnessed how a boy of our age was beaten up because he was wearing tight trousers called “drainpipes”. (…) We decided to react although the attacker was older and stronger. (…) we helped the boy… We strongly disliked the fact that our society proved so indifferent and intolerant. We tried to solve the problem with e-tools for civic engagement activities. We visited the European Youth Portal, where we were advised to turn with this problem to the municipal authorities, because such problems could hardly be solved with e-activity tools. We went to see the mayor of our town, who was very pleased with our visit. We told the mayor about what had happened a few days earlier. The mayor was left concerned about the attitude of inhabitants in our municipality; we suggested holding a workshop with primary school pupils on whom we pin our hopes. Right after the meeting we went to the education inspector in our municipality. The inspector helped us to contact directors of nearby primary schools, with whom we agreed the date and a venue of the workshop. The mayor offered us material assistance: colour markers, coloured paper blocks and notebooks were bought. These supplies were of great help to us. We prepared a workshop scenario on our own. Together with pupils we wrote down things associated with the word tolerance, we explained the meaning of this term. We made a short test to check whether the pupils were tolerant. We discussed what prejudices exist and what intolerance is. Together we talked about the reasons for intolerance. We divided the pupils into groups so they had to overcome prejudices together. We played a film about the lack of tolerance, drawing the pupils’ attention to inappropriate behaviour and the behaviour that should characterize a tolerant person. In spite of showing little enthusiasm at the beginning, the pupils were very active and treated the workshop very maturely. At the end they heard our conclusion: “It is very hard to evaluate others because each of us is different, but it does not mean anyone is worse, it simply means everyone is unique”. (…) � 17