At the expert meeting “How can school help building an inclusive society” in Samobor

“How can school help building an inclusive society” was the title of an expert gathering for principals, teachers, professional associates and students of upper and lower elementary schools, which was held on September 25, 2019 at the Open University in Samobor. The main organizer of the event was the “Adopta” Adoption Support Association, which, in collaboration with the Veterinary School and the School of Graphic Design and Media Production, conducted a successful project called “Colorful School”. In that project students took a very active role through workshops and artistic expression. At the event, they presented their creative solutions, which conveyed the main conclusions of the project – on prejudice, discrimination, diversity and the importance of social inclusion of members of minority and vulnerable groups of society.  

The event was opened by  M. Sc. Diana Topčić – Rosenberg, President of Adopta, and was greeted by M. Sc. Jelena Vojvoda, Director of the Samobor Open University. An introductory lecture on the importance of happiness and the educational component in schools was delivered by prof.  Dubravka Miljković, PhD followed by a roundtable discussion at which Mia Roje Đapić, Psychologist at the Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center, was invited, accompanied by Sanja Cesar from the Center for Education, Counseling and Research Zagreb, Matija Čabrajec, MD. vet. from the Zagreb Veterinary School and moderator psychologist Helena Gjurić from Adopta.   

Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center Psychologist Mia Roje Đapić presented the findings of the Center’s research and examples from clinical practice that systematically point to the very frequent occurrence of bullying (violence among children) and the resistance of children and young people to trust adults, especially school staff. Through discussion with participants from the audience once again it has been recognized sometimes present diffusion of responsibility for responding to the protection of children. It was concluded that all adults, especially professionals, have the legal, moral and professional responsibility to notify the competent Center for social welfare to any suspected inappropriate treatment of children and to be in constant inter-ministerial cooperation. This also sends a message to children and young people that their problems are important and recognizable and that adults will take responsibility for solving them when they exceed the capacity of children and the range of their usual experiences of growing up.  

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