Award-winning Palermitan professor: “We must guide students towards relationships based on mutual respect”

The hashtag is #noviolenza. The educational emergency among young people is growing alarmingly. Parents, teachers, and educators, especially after the case of group violence in Palermo, are asking themselves questions. Today, Professor Leonardo Durante, proudly from Brancaccio, with a degree in electronic engineering from Palermo, who lives and teaches Automatic Systems and Controls at the Enrico Fermi Upper Secondary School in Rome, has issued an appeal. In 2016, he was awarded as the best teacher in Lazio by JaItalia, and in 2020, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award. He was included in the Varkey Foundation’s list of the top 50 teachers in the world, the only Italian in the Global Teacher Prize, a prestigious career recognition. His reflections on Gender Violence and the Urgent Need for Education are contained in a letter addressed to colleagues and the community. “I address you with deep concern and bitterness in light of the tragic event that has shaken our city of Palermo, highlighting the urgent need to address the issue of gender violence through targeted and systematic education. This sad and shocking episode compels us to carefully consider the social roots of such manifestations and invites us to promote an educational response that can contribute to change. The persistence of acts of gender violence in our society is a reminder to strengthen our commitment to educate future generations to develop a deep understanding of the principles of equality, respect, and human dignity. As educators, we have the responsibility to guide our students towards a conscious appreciation of diversity and the building of relationships based on communication and mutual consideration.” A heartfelt appeal for everyone to do their part. “Gender violence – Leonardo Durante writes – cannot be addressed simply as an individual problem, but as a systemic issue that requires a holistic approach. We must promote the creation of educational programs that extend beyond the classroom walls and involve families, institutions, and the community as a whole. These programs should aim to develop individuals’ socio-emotional skills, encouraging empathy, respect for diversity, and critical awareness of gender dynamics. Education is the key to breaking the cycle of gender violence. We must teach young people that true strength lies in the construction and preservation of healthy relationships based on trust and mutual respect. We must help them understand that gender differences should not be a reason for discrimination or violence but a wealth from which to learn and grow together.” Starting from dialogue to take the right path. “It is also crucial,” adds the professor, “to encourage open dialogue and support for victims of gender violence. In an educational context, we must create a safe space where students can express their concerns, ask questions, and seek support without fear of judgment. This will help break the silence that often surrounds such issues and promote greater awareness.” A life lesson that starts from the school desks. “As teachers,” the professor emphasizes, “we have the privilege and responsibility to shape young minds and influence future society. It is our collective task to promote a cultural change that puts an end to gender violence. This requires joint efforts from schools, families, institutions, and the media. I therefore address you, teachers, families, media, and institutions, in the hope that we can actively engage in promoting a culture of respect and gender equality through education. Only through cohesive and lasting commitment can we aspire to a future where gender violence is a sad page of history, overcome by the light of education and social change.”

Il prof palermitano pluripremiato: «Dobbiamo guidare gli studenti verso relazioni basate sulla reciproca considerazione»

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