Students Discuss Ways to Combat Classroom Bullying
With N.J. Holocaust Commission Director
Windsor, N.J. - Approximately 40 MCCC Education students recently
engaged in a lively discourse with Dr. Paul Winkler, executive
director of the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education
(NJCHE). Meeting in the Holocaust Genocide Resource Center
located on the MCCC campus, Dr. Winkler discussed approaches
to eliminating intolerance and bullying in the classroom,
using children's literature as a key tool.
Dr. Winkler was invited to campus by Assistant Professor of
Education Elizabeth DeGiorgio and was joined by MCCC Professor
EmeritaVera Goodkin, a Holocaust survivor.
Dr. Winkler noted that some books work specifically to foster
a climate of tolerance in the classroom. Children's books
such as Dr. Seuss' "The Sneetches and Other Stories"
and "Sirius, The Hero Dog of 9-11" by Hank Fellows
are particularly good for younger readers.
many children are bullied; many feel unsafe," Winkler,
a former teacher and school administrator, said. "We
are one of the most diverse states in the country, but we're
also high in the number of hate crimes. Teachers need to assume
responsibility for creating a community of acceptance in the
classroom. It's important for children to be taught how to
respect and appreciate each other's differences."
Using 9-11 as an example, Winkler noted that traumatic or
controversial experiences can serve as "teachable moments"
in the classroom. The NJCHE has played a major role in developing
a new, comprehensive K-12 curriculum for teaching children
about the events and issues surrounding the terrorist attacks
of September 11, 2001.
Winkler points out "teachable moments" in Dr. Seuss'
left, student Ramona Belfiore, Dr. Paul Winkler, executive director
of the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education, Professor
Emerita Vera Goodkin and student Danielle Sutton following the
and other emotionally-charged subjects are a challenge to teach,"
Winkler observed. "Teachers' words are so important. When you
say something, children really do hear it. You must be sensitive
to how words affect people. Never blame all for the actions of a
For more information on the NJCHE, see here.
More on the Holocaust Genocide Resource Center on Mercer's West
Windsor Campus is available here.
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