Beyond the Campus-ND Helps Resolve Conflict

Author: Kristin Bien

Notre Dame- It’s not a new problem, but it’s gotten more attention in recent years.

Many schools in our area and across the country are trying to do more to prevent bullying.

In this month’s Beyond the Campus, a program developed by Notre Dame is helping schools teach students how to deal with conflict.

Ryan Nichols is a junior at Notre Dame and is part of the Take 10 program.

“I love it so far,” he said.

It’s a violence prevention, conflict resolution curriculum developed at the Robinson Center more than a decade ago and this year taught in 17 area schools by Notre Dame students.

“We feel like mentors, like siblings almost,” Nichols reflected. “And we get to know these kids very well. We get to know their names and their back stories. It is great. I love it.”

The college students use interactive lessons to teach the younger kids how to peacefully resolve conflict.

Nichols used a poem in his classroom to talk about addressing feelings, while another classroom down the hall used artwork to learn about the Take 10 program mantra: “Talk it out, walk it out, wait it out.”

Whenever you get into a conflict, you can talk it out with somebody else,” Nichols said. “You can walk it out, you can walk away from whatever it is, or you can wait it out, wait 10 seconds before you say something that you might regret.”

According to leaders at the Robinson Center, data over the last five years has shown the program is working. That is why the number of schools in the area using the program is growing every year.

For Nichols and his fellow mentors, they measure the program one student at a time.

“They really think of you as a mentor and someone they really want to live their lives in your footsteps.”

This program can also be taught by teachers in the classroom -- each school implements it differently.