MIAMI (CBS4) – Students at Miami’s Law Enforcement Officers Memorial High School learned a different type of lesson Tuesday, a lesson that could one day save not only their life but the lives of their friends.
The Hate Comes Home Workshop for Students is described as being an intense training course aimed at breaking the cycle of teen prejudice, hatred and violence.READ MORE: Attorney For Marjory Stoneman Douglas High Resource Officer Scott Peterson Released Parts Of Deposition With Former Broward Sheriff Scott Israel
South Florida made national headlines with some high profile incidents of teen violence and bullying, such as Michael Brewer and Josie Ratley. Brewer was 15 when he was set on fire by a group of teens reportedly because of a fight over a video game. Ratley was savagely beaten by teen over a text message.
“Students are being bullied based on their homosexuality, based on their race,” said student Jude Bruno. “So I think if we can incorporate this in many classrooms, not just in South Florida but throughout the country that it’ll kind of decrease some of the tensions between kids in high school.”READ MORE: Family, Friends Gathered To Remember Erika Verdecia, Convicted Killer Charged In Her Murder
During the workshop students play their parts in an interactive movie plot which presents them with a number of hate-motivated scenarios. The students then discuss ways to diffuse the situation through critical thinking and problem solving.
“It really places the students on the situations and it helps them to make better decisions in how to deal with prejudice and with hate and anger in schools,” said teacher Rose Milian.
“If you see someone being put on the spot, you should really help them out,” said another student Gaby Rocha. “Because maybe they feel stuck, like, ‘I’m being bullied; I can’t do anything about it; I’m going to be made fun of.’ Try to help them out.”MORE NEWS: COVID-19 Testing Sites In South Florida
Sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League, the training is designed to help empower students to put an end to violence and bullying. The group’s goal is to get into every school in Miami-Dade County and across the country.