Read Bethany Hiatt’s great article on The Rite Journey in Perth schools here.
Hear about The Rite Journey experience from teachers, students and parents
Back in 2011, Reporter Annie Hastwell joined South Australian teacher Andrew Lines and his students as they farewelled their childhood at one of the group’s final ceremonies.
One of the Rite Journey classes at Timaru Boys’ High School (NZ) has had their letter to the editor about violence published on the front page of the Timaru Herald.
Never before has that paper chosen to publish a letter to the editor on the front page…but these lads have put together a thoughtful, strong piece about violence in sport.
What an amazing group of young men…feeling passionate enough about this topic to take this action.
Here’s what was published on the front page:
The rugby brawl that occurred at the end of the Temuka-Geraldine senior rugby match on Saturday has drawn comment this week.
Yesterday the following was sent to the Herald by class 10 NL of Timaru Boys’ High School. It is unusual for us to present it in this way, but we felt it deserved special treatment.
We are a group of Y10 students going through the Rite Journey programme at Timaru Boys’ High School. We are looking at stereotypes and the impact that the media has on creating these and the impact this can have on us. We have looked at the media’s response to State of Origin Game 1 with the Paul Gallen fight. The highlight reel on stuff.co.nz only showed this fight! No good plays, tries or good sportsmanship was evident.
We then looked at the recent developments of our local, club rugby senior game between Geraldine and Temuka. The player/coach quote on Monday of “a good old fashioned slugfest” and “the most exciting part of the game” surprised us. We are taught that fighting is not OK and that “it takes a bigger man to walk away”. We realise that the player/coach probably made these comments in the heat of the moment, but it appears as if the media glorifies these behaviours.
During this class our teacher showed us the TV3 news report on the death of the Kelston Boys’ student, Stephen Dudley, who was killed as a result of a fight after rugby practice. We were deeply saddened by this but pleased that the family has said “we need to address the culture of violence across our country so something like this doesn’t happen again”.
We are confused that violence at a rugby game is not seen as assault and that it is dealt with by a slap on the wrist and not by police. Is this why the 15 and 17-year-old boys who allegedly assaulted Stephen Dudley got it wrong? Did they think they would get away with it because the fight took place on a rugby field, after rugby practice?
Throughout our Rite Journey Programme we are challenged physically, mentally and emotionally. Our challenge to The Timaru Herald is to make a stand against the glorification of violence in our paper and to the people who make the decisions about assault that occur on the rugby paddock from spectators or players.
Why are these incidents not handled by police? What is the message they are wanting to send the youth of today?
The editor responded to their letter with his own opinion piece the following day. That can be read here:
Well done Class 10NL at TBHS for taking a stand.
The Korean Educational Broadcaster EBS has screened a documentary on helping transition boys into manhood. The documentary has footage of Lilydale Adventist Academy and their Rite Journey Co-ordinator Dustin Dever, along with interviews with some of the boys from the class, Andrew Lines sharing some of the aims of the program and Steve Biddulph discussing some issues with boys transitioning. The bulk of the narration is in Korean although all interviews with Rite Journey participants are in English.
Andrew will be returning to Korea early next year to work with Kongjin Middle School. They will be implementing an adapted version of The Rite Journey to their students and EBS will be producing a second documentary…this time of Kongjin Middle School implementing The Rite Journey over the course of a year.
A Brisbane News article from July 18, 2012 called ‘Male Order’ featuring The Rite Journey…looking at helping boys in the transition to manhood.
I received this email and letter today from the deputy at a Rite Journey school.
I wish we could give the general public the experience of how gorgeous boys really are…when we actually sit with them, spend time with them, listen to them, care for them..
EMAIL FROM DEPUTY:
Attached is a letter from a student that refers to a distinct moment of learning.
For those that have dealt with him over the years, he has often presented a very well worked and apparently sincere account of bullying issues and harassment directed at him. Because of his articulate nature, high academic ability and pleasant nature, his account of any event has often been given significant weight. However, over time, some staff have picked up that he may not always be giving a complete and accurate account of events! It became clear that he would deflect blame, accuse others, deny everything.
As a result of the past few lessons in The Rite Journey – focussed on the importance of your word as a man, admitting mistakes, apologising, etc. – it appears that he has had an epiphany.
LETTER FROM STUDENT
To Whom It May Concern
In the few years I have been at the school, I have been involved in more incidents than most people will witness in their whole life. In most of the events I have made out that I am the victim and am not at all responsible. This is (as you already know) not true, I often lie to get myself out of trouble and to avoid punishment.
In Rite Journey, we are currently learning that telling the truth is not the best option, but the only option. When you admit guilt, you understand that what you did was wrong. When you do this, your sentence is normally reduced by one-third.
Punishment is a way of placing criminals on the straight and narrow. By not ever receiving punishment, I did not register what I was doing as wrong and did not try to fix it.
I used to lie a lot at home, to the point where my parents were not able to tell if I was telling the truth. This damaged our relationship, but I have since overcome this problem and we have become closer than ever before.
A possible new motto for the school is “Turning boys into gentlemen”…I want to become a man, and the first step to doing so is to stop lying.
MYSA Journal The Rite JourneyAndrew’s article in the recent Middle Years of Schooling Association Journal.
Andrew was asked to write an article for the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA) journal, ‘Independence’, outlining the background of The Rite Journey and its implementation.