Diamond Bar High School

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Breaking Down Student Stereotypes At DB Forum

Story By Sarah Markiewicz, The Bull's Eye Staff Writer

For all the stress over busy schedules and otherwise trite occurrences, there are times when Diamond Bar students feel burdened by their experiences with social dilemmas and bullying. Peer Counseling has addressed this issue in a way that is both entertaining and emotionally provocative through the school’s seventeenth DB Forum.

DB Forum is an event held by Peer Counseling twice a year, in October and February. On October 24 from the beginning of the school day to the final bell, students were not only invited to share their personal issues without fear but also to gain feedback in the form of their peers’ experiences and opinions.

Students were arranged into groups that they remained with for the entire day, and each group was assigned to a Peer Counseling member who led them in each activity.

“Peer Counseling is a chance for DBHS students to develop skills that help other students through confidential counseling services. It’s sort of like pre-psychology in a way, because we learn a lot of techniques that help us in the future,” Lopez said.

Students at DB Forum discussed social issues and established relationships with new people in a variety of ways.

They created original skits about stereotypes that relate specifically to Diamond Bar and brainstormed ways to end these stereotypes and create solidarity between students. At some points, they were also encouraged to share personal stories about the social issues that they had experienced or witnessed.

“I didn’t expect that they [those in her group] would have those kinds of backstories, but I did expect it because there are two sides to everyone,” senior Grace Chang said in reference to the confidential information that she heard during her second DB Forum.

The event had the same activities as those from previous years. This was done in order to ensure that this year’s attendees would have the same experience as students who went to previous DB forums. Lopez explained that bringing students in higher level classes into the mix has been a challenge.

“We would like to have a good diversity because we believe DB Forum is beneficial to everyone,” Sydney Lopez said.

Lopez hoped to see the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Honors students increase, because these students normally do not have time to attend due to their busy schedules. Lopez says that Peer Counseling has tried to implement new ways of spreading awareness about DB Forum in order to persuade more students to attend.

“The best we can do to reach that demographic is to tell them how beneficial it is in so many ways and try to make the event seem worthwhile through methods such as posters, announcements, and flyers,” Lopez said over Facebook.

While most AP and Honors students do not attend DB Forum, there is another event coming up that may suit their interests. In the first week of November, Peer Counseling will conduct Stress Awareness Week, which will educate students about ways in which they can combat anxiety over their workloads. Throughout the week, students can release their stress with punching bags and watch as the Peer Counseling officers are splattered with paint.

Still, for students who want to experience DB Forum again or for the first time, the next one will take place in February. While there have been rumors about a third DB Forum being planned for this school year, Peer Counseling will only coordinate one more.

“There are circumstances that prevent it; but in the future I hope it’s a possibility,” Lopez said.

http://dbbullseye.com/2014/breaking-down-student-stereotypes-at-db-forum/ Source: The Bull's Eye
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