DeJong (1994) describes RCCP's program philosophy and the nature of conflict:
"RCCP and other violence prevention programs are based on the premise that
human aggression is a learned behavior, taught through example and reinforced
by a culture that glamorizes violent responses to conflict. Conflict itself,
with its roots in competition, poor communication, and miscalculation, is a
normal part of life and cannot be eliminated. What must change, therefore, is
how we respond to it. Accordingly, we must teach our children that violence is
not an acceptable means of resolving conflict. We must also teach them the
skills they need to handle conflict nonviolently, including perspective taking,
cost-benefit analysis, decision making, and negotiation.
A frequent misconception is that RCCP teaches kids to deal with conflict
passively, to walk away from it. Clearly, there are times when walking away is
necessary to escape physical danger. In general, however, avoidance is not the
answer. In most cases, conflict should be dealt with head-on, with a focus on
constructive problem solving. At the same time, RCCP recognizes that not all
conflict can be resolved. In some cases, force, even physical force, must be
used, but only after all other means of dealing with the underlying problem
have been exhausted. RCCP students are taught that conflict can lead to
violence but that it does not have to do so inevitably." (p. 3)
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