As an essential element of their Citizenship studies, all of Huxlow’s Year 11 students were involved in the PREVENT workshops which took place on Monday 19th – Tuesday 20th September 2016. The aim of PREVENT is to educate all our students about radicalisation and extremism and to safeguard vulnerable individuals against extreme ideologies.
The PREVENT team includes a Dr of Sociology, two anti-terror policeman and a former extremist who has been reformed through finding God. The students were totally captivated and engaged.
The morning started off with an activity to decide the fate of young people trapped in a cave which forced the students to make choices about which human beings are worth saving. This then moved on to a Jeremy Kyle style round-up which challenged their choices – very powerful!
Then students were introduced to personal stories of bullying with some very hard hitting descriptions of Manny’s experiences of growing up with different colour skin. These were cleverly linked to global hatred and terror attacks. Next we went through different case studies including Anthony Walker’s racist murder and the savage killing of drummer Lee Rigby. Students also learnt through case studies that youtube contains lies to radicalise young people in to right wing extremism. Unsurprising to adults but enlightening to students.
By far the most powerful section of the morning was the captivating personal journey of an ex-right wing extremist who described himself as a former monster. Students were shocked to discover that a “normal” looking man had such a horrible past. He went through some of his worst times and the terrible things he did whilst a member of a far right group. He spoke about the turning point which made him seek forgiveness and help. After 3 years inside a mental institution fighting his demons he found God and started to change his life and to warn others. His story also started with being bullied and fighting back.
Students completed feedback forms after the event, making comments like “shows you there is no point fighting”, “inspirational” and “emotional but good to learn about these things!”