Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mr. Marszalek's Class Monday 4/7/08

Gitsy, Sondi, Becca, and I went to Mr. Marszalek's class today and talked with the students about sexual violence as a tool of war. It was the first time the Monday teachers had stepped foot in his classroom. We opened up the class by having the students read 6 personal accounts. This really set the tone for the class. The students were respectful throughout the discussion. After they all had a chance to read the accounts on their own, we had them volunteer to read a few of the accounts out loud if the students felt comfortable enough. 3 accounts were read.

After we went through the accounts, each student read a fact about Darfur and sexual violence that ze was given at the beginning of class. 

The readings were then followed by questions that the students had and discussion questions that we posed to the group. The students got a grasp several concepts: how the government was failing to protect its citizens; how sexual violence has affected women as they do their daily chores; how few women actually speak out about sexual violence due to social restrictions, how sexually unsafe the IDP camps and the surrounding area's are; and how and why there are so few men.

The goal of this class was to have the students understand how sexual violence can be a war tactic. Based on the discussion it seemed that those who were talking were really beginning to understand the discussion. And those students who did not talk showed respect for the issue and seemed like they were absorbing the information. Their homework assignment should hopefully help them further fathom the uses of this war tactic. The homework was to research another conflict in which sexual violence was used as a tactic and write a paragraph on it. 

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