A Word from the Authors of the Missouri High School Senior List

“I can’t say that I am the most popular guy at school. I don’t have the most friends, I don’t have the best grades, not many girls talk to me… I’m average.
Athletes build their reputation through their performance on the field. Smart kids get credit for their good grades. Popular guys will always be popular because of their good looks and personalities. But for someone not so gifted, I need to create my own image.
When I wrote the Senior List with my two friends, we got immediate attention. Everyone had a copy of the list in their book bag. It was the topic of conversation at lunch and our names were always mentioned.
Some girls were mad, but they did exactly as I planned. I knew that when this list came out, those girls had no other choice but to address me directly because of my critiques. They are reading and re-reading the words I wrote, no other option then to dwell over my reviews. I felt powerful.”
Though this may not be an accurate depiction of the real-life perpetrators in the recent Missouri High School Senior List incident, it is a mindset that fuels the bullying and harassment epidemic in this country. But how many of us can understand this perspective?
The TURNING STONEchoice program teaches us how to identify will all sides of the story in order to see the full-picture. It is not until we understand the reality of situations when our choices are revealed.

Public ridicule: a painful situation for any child or adolescent… if they choose!

What would you do if your daughter came home from school in tears because she was publicly humiliated about her pimples? What if she was mocked about wearing maxi pads because she did not like the feeling of tampons?

Ten families in Missouri had to go through the torment of watching their grief-stricken teenage daughters deal with the reality of a vulgar “Senior List” that was distributed to the class and described the sexuality and hygiene of 10 female classmates.

It is obvious that most children and teenagers, male or female, will react negatively towards an embarrassing situation. But instead of reacting, the TURNING STONEchoice program teaches interaction with family and peers to expose root causes of negative situations.

In the TURNING STONEchoice program, the Keep Close Chat is a practice that encourages families to talk about troubling situations to reveal the innermost feelings of a child in emotional distress.  What would a Keep Close Chat sound like in this case in Missouri?

The victim would most likely reveal that they were embarrassed about the list, angry with the authors and horrified about showing her face to her peers.

Parents or friends would encourage her to look at the reasons for why her peers authored the list. The motive of this type of harassment and bullying is nothing more than an effort for the authors to maintain control in their own lives but controlling the thoughts and feelings of others.

The teenager would then realize she has choices:

1. Come to terms with reality by accepting the motives of the authors and dismissing the actions

2. Fight back by publicly contradicting the statements in the Senior List

3. Speak with the authors of the list and interact with them in order to maintain control of her own thoughts and feelings

4. Talk with a teacher, counselor or principal

It is important to have the teenager understand that there is no right or wrong answer to this situation. There is only what she will do, and won’t do.  Success is achieved when the teenager feels self-empowered and able to make her own choice on how to resolve the situation.

Communication is vital for the well being of children and adolescents. With harassment and bullying being issues nationwide, it is important to avoid children bottling up emotions while triggering harmful thoughts. The Keep Close Chat will improve relationships and boost the self-esteem of individuals.

For more information about the TURNING STONEchoice program and the Keep Close Chat, email us at info@turningstonechoice.com.

How critical can you think? A blog for making choices and being in control of your own living.

If individuals only think about themselves, are they being selfish? In our society today, the answer would most likely be yes, but is that really true?

Thinking about ourselves, for ourselves and by ourselves is what keeps people in control of their own living. No one else has the power to shape our actions besides ourselves.

An anonymous author once wrote, “The greatest knowledge we can give our children is knowledge about themselves. Such knowledge gives them the base for learning everything else important in their life.”  TURNING STONEchoice (TSC) holds this philosophy at the core of its program. Self-communication and interacting in (vs. reacting to) a situation is integral in solving everyday problems.

As part of the TSC program, educators and leaders are helping children identify their innermost feelings about realities they are facing.  The TSC program teaches children to make self-empowering choices resulting in inner fulfillment.

Making a self-empowering choice, or a choice that is made while in a positive state of mind, is the start of improving issues such as bullying, insecurity and peer pressure. These basic life lessons can foster a future full of enrichment in all aspects of learning, especially academically.

Keep following the TURNING STONEchoice program as we enter classrooms across the country to teach the most important lesson of all…learning about ourselves.