A Culture of Peace
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18
If you are new to Melton Christian College, you may not yet have heard of the particular approach we take to resolving conflict. In the week of ANZAC Day, it seems timely and appropriate to explain our school’s approach to conflict resolution.
We all should know what ANZAC Day commemorates. If you are an Aussie, you acknowledge, you recognise and you honour the sacrifices that thousands and thousands of Aussies have made in the cause of protecting freedom.
ANZAC Day simultaneously reminds us of the selflessness of courage and yet the needless tragedy of war. War is the ultimate failure of conflict resolution. Peace is its ultimate opposite and is the success of conflict resolution. We want peace.
Conflict itself is not the problem. Unresolved conflict is the problem. Conflict is not pleasant, but it is a reality, so we might as well prepare for successful resolution of conflict. Unresolved conflict is a killer. It kills community, it kills love, it kills life.
At MCC, because we seek peace and a culture of peace, we use the approach called PeaceWise. PeaceWise is a system; a series of steps that your children learn. The PeaceWise steps lead to resolved conflict. The steps are uncomplicated conflict resolution guidelines. If you have conflict, and you follow the PeaceWise guidelines, the conflict will be resolved and shared trust within that relationship will grow stronger not weaker.
We use PeaceWise strategies and programs throughout our school to assist us with resolving conflict in a wholesome way. There is more to the PeaceWise approach than simply putting out spot fires of conflict on a case-by-case basis. The goal of the PeaceWise programs is building a ‘culture of peace’.
A culture of peace put in practice means that throughout the school, among the people who do life together in the classrooms, in the play spaces, the corridors and offices, there would be a cultural assumption that conflict is an opportunity to make peace and strengthen relationships. To that end, a culture of peace will be evident when in a workplace, a family or a school. Conflict isn’t avoided; instead, conflict is authentically resolved, and relationships are humbly restored. That is a culture of peace.
Culture shapes behaviour: whatever the culture is, it shapes behaviour. If you encourage your children to contribute to this culture of peace, your household will be blessed too. Peace that comes from having our students immersed in a culture of peace will spill-over into our homes.
In this time, we remember ANZACs and all Aussies who served and sacrificed for the cause of peace. This is a time when, as a Christian school, we need to commit to building a culture of peace in our own sphere of influence.
As a community of parents and staff, let’s commit to nurturing a culture of peace in our homes and classrooms. Let’s commit to resolving conflict in wholesome ways and support our children’s teachers as they do the same in the classrooms. Let’s bring out the best in each other.
David Gleeson, Principal