Guest blogger Devorah Heitner writes: If we simply drive the conversation underground, we lose an opportunity to help kids understand other people's point of view.


Schools are seeing eruptions of the mimicking behavior seen on the campaign trail. Name calling and other painful and more aggressive actions follow.


My school district has embarked on a whole child journey. This revolves around our extended recess time (we increased recess from twenty minutes to forty minutes), yoga, meditation and mindfulness work for students K-8.


It is understandable that with the contentiousness of this election, that leaders might find it safer to limit conversations. We argue that it is our role to help students navigate these rough waters.


It is about opening up space for your mind and for your human interactions.


It is time for us to listen to each other and learn how to help each other dig with intentionality past hateful words to the source of the hate and lead the children through this difficult time.


Even when the stakes are low, you still need to know how to handle defeat. It was this driving principle that motivated teacher Laura Pasek, a third and fourth grade general studies teacher, to conclude her simulation of a presidential election with the drafting of acceptance speeches--and concession speeches.


What have we done to make school environments safer for children with mental health issues and the ones they may hurt? What have we done for the hearts and minds, and yes, the illness some hold within?


Today is a day to reclaim civility - formal politeness and courtesy - in our behavior and in our speech. If we don't our actions will drown out any words that we might utter and we collectively will bear the blame for the society that we create.


As 21st century changes arrive in curricula, manner of teaching and assessing, it is time to pull ethics out of the shadows and make it part of the content, practice and actions of adults and of our teaching.


The opinions expressed in Leadership 360 are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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