Students at an elementary school in Colorado Springs, Colo., are taking turns being shunned by their classmates in an exercise school officials say is intended to teach kids what it feels like to be bullied.
The experiment requires children in fourth through sixth grade to alternate in wearing special stickers on their collars to indicate that they are to be ignored by fellow classmates. Students are not allowed to tease or otherwise be ugly to those wearing stickers, but the unconventional campaign is still stirring controversy.
Anne Shearer-Shineman, the principal of public charter school James Madison Charter Academy, told KKTV that they are "putting the students in a situation where they can experience what it's like to be left out."
"They will have more insight into things that they might be doing to others that they don’t realize that they're doing," she added.
One mom agreed the school may have good intentions, but she is still angry that her son, who she says is already bullied, was forced to endure more isolation and pain.
"They've got a good heart behind it, it's just being approached in a very misguided way," Johanna Myers told KKTV.
Further, Jaana Juvonen, a professor of developmental psychology at UCLA, told Yahoo! Shine that the "ethics and impact" of such an exercise are "debated." She also argued that "when just a couple of children experience this for an entire school day it can be traumatic, especially for those who are more sensitive in general or for those who are already bullied."
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