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Shultz Fellows Model Civil Discourse in Norton Center

In an evening community conversation on Thursday, November 7, more than 100 students discussed ways to engage in civil discourse about sometimes divisive political issues, and they practiced these respectful approaches using the issue of gun control.

The discussion, “Disagreeing About Politics,” was led by members of the Shultz Fellowship, a student non-partisan discussion group that encourages civil discourse among students and the Loomis Chaffee community. The event was part of a conversation credit series organized by the Norton Family Center for the Common Good, and Eric LaForest, Keller Family Director of the Norton Center, and Molly Pond, associate director of the Norton Center, moderated the discussion.

A panel of Shultz Fellows first reviewed best practices for a meaningful conversation, based on discussion skills covered in the school’s required Ninth- and 10th-Grade Seminars. The Shultz Fellows then modeled a respectful dialogue around the topic of gun control by voicing and listening to individual divergent opinions among the group.

The large crowd of students and faculty in attendance were invited to write down their thoughts and questions about gun control, which Eric posed to the panel as a jumping-off point for conversation. 

Connect to the school website for more information about Norton Center programs.