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In the latest edition
Theme park injuries
Four teenagers were seriously injured when two cars crashed on the Smiler rollercoaster at the Alton Towers theme park. Twelve others were also injured. Releasing all the trapped passengers took over four hours.
Discuss those hours during which passengers were freed one by one, after being suspended 20 feet from the ground. How might different people - passengers, spectators, staff - have reacted or felt?
The Smiler has been prohibited from use until the cause of the failure is dealt with. How important is it to find the cause of any injury? What might the feelings be of the first people to try Smiler if it re-opens?
The company that runs the theme park said: "we are doing all we can to provide our support to those injured and their families". Discuss what support someone might need to be able to cope with operations, hospital visits, pain, restricted movement and possible permanent disability. What could others do to help?
See this Emotional support teacher briefing for advice on how to respond calmly and positively to someone who is distressed. A simple classroom activity follows the briefing exploring students' attitude to providing emotional support.
Eliminating nuclear weapons
This August is the 70th anniversary of the dropping of atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Discuss what young people know. What events might be planned to mark it? How might they differ from recent World War II remembrance or World War I centenary events?
Earlier this year a conference was hosted by the United Nations to take forward measures under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. One aim was to reduce and curb the spread of nuclear weapons, but countries involved were unable to agree on key issues. Many organisations and governments continue to work for agreements. What is young people’s view on this?
How might high level discussions between countries reduce suffering? Discuss the effect of other treaties. Laser weapons specifically designed to cause permanent blindness were banned by international agreement before any were used. More than 150 countries are party to a treaty prohibiting production and use of antipersonnel landmines. Who benefits from such agreements?
Laws and treaties are sometimes violated. Does this mean they are worthless? Compare with examples from everyday life such as littering or speeding. Discuss whether laws that are sometimes broken are worth having?
Click here for a teacher briefing on Weapons of war.
Trapped under a bus
Here's a tweet sent last month: "Cyclist trapped under a bus at #walthamstow 100 people trying to lift the bus to save his life & 200 watching taking photos on their phones".
Can young people picture the scene? The numbers are rough guesses, but do you think the tweeter was making a point by comparing the numbers of helpers and bystanders? Which would young people have been? How might they have felt at the sight of a man whose leg is trapped by the wheel of a double decker bus?
According to reports, some of those who tried to video it were shouted at by others. Can young people explain why? Discuss the concepts of respect and dignity. The scene was chaotic and the driver didn't seem to understand when he was being asked to reverse off the man's leg. Talk about the effect of stress on decision-making and communication.
For more resources on the 'bystander effect' click here.