Pledge of Nonviolence

Each year, students in Eastern Mennonite Elementary School start the year by reviewing and signing the Pledge of Nonviolence. The tradition provides a framework for takling about how students and grownups in the school want to live and learn together.

The shared vocabulary is enhanced with American Sign Language. In fall 2018, children also washed each others' hands as part of the beginning of the year ritual to symbolize the care they want to show each other.

School Pledge of Nonviolence

Making peace must start within ourselves and in our school.  Each of us, members of _________________________School, on this day, ______________, 20__, commit ourselves as best we can to become nonviolent and peaceable people.
To Respect Self and Others
To respect ourselves, to affirm others and to avoid uncaring criticism,
hateful words, physical attacks and self-destructive behavior.
To Communicate Better
To share our feelings honestly, to look for safe ways to express our anger,
and to work at solving problems peacefully.
To Listen
To listen carefully to one another, especially those who disagree with us,
and to consider others' feelings and needs rather than insist on having our own way.
To Forgive
To apologize and make amends when we have hurt another,
to forgive others, and to keep from holding grudges.
To Respect Nature
To treat the environment and all living things,
including our pets, with respect and care.
To Play Creatively
To select activities and toys that support our school's values and to avoid
activities that make violence look exciting, funny or acceptable.
To Be Courageous
To challenge violence in all its forms whenever we encounter it, whether at home, at school, or in the community, and to stand with others who are treated unfairly.
This is our pledge.  These are our goals.  We will check ourselves on what we have pledged once a month on the _____________ day of the month for this school year so that we can help each other become more peaceable people.
"Eliminating violence, one school at a time, starting with our own."
Institute for Peace and Justice
475 East Lockwood Ave., St. Louis, MO 63119
Phone:  (314) 918-2630 --- Fax:  (314) 918-2643