|A parallel with the Sower and the Shepherd
I have never had a problem of explaining the point of SCm to pupils. The fact is that presentation of SCm to teachers and to the administrative establishment takes more time. The reason is, I suspect, their interpretation of responsibility: one has to investigate the guilt before taking measures. Recently I have found two well-known parallels that switch focus from the guilt problem. These parallels usually evoke aha-experiences even in people who, like me, are not religious. One is about the sower and the other about the good shepherd. The mainstream of teachers, who apply current whole-school-programmes, follow the behaviour of the sower: “Some seeds fall on good ground and bring forth fruit; some seeds fall upon stony places.” (Abbreviated from St. Matthew. 18; 12).
That’s what happens in the usual whole-school-programmes: condemning the Evil and praising the Good with available pedagogical means. Those pupils who already have good insights into the Good get them confirmed. But the problem remains with the minority (stony places) who are not touched by the message. They continue with their harassment behind the backs of the teachers. In order to reach them, some teachers resort to taking the role of a good shepherd. (The one who goes into the mountains to find a sheep which has gone astray.) They have class-discussions about methods that result in finding clandestine bullying and have competence of dealing with the kids have gone astray: not only the victim but also the bullies.
I believe that understanding what motivates of the good shepherd is universal, though it might be too complicated to sort out in which religions it is also represented. SCm keeps a low profile: the main thing is that the role of the shepherd gives satisfaction to its practitioners whatever it may be labelled.
The parallels above could clarify my proposition for a division of labour between (1) credible whole-school-programmes sowing grains from which good attitudes can crop up (but which have to be complemented with surveillance of playgrounds) and (2) SCm as the modern shepherd’s mean of dealing with bullying when it occurs and is able to elicit pupils’ confidence.