Case Study: Instagram

A math instructor who teaches class right after lunch notices that students have difficulty concentrating. Most of the students in this class are repeating the course and there are at least eight young people who have problems controlling their behavior. When the teacher first introduced Community Building Circles, there were sidebar conversations, despite the use of a "talking piece" that serves as a reminder that only one person may speak at a time. After conducting the circles a few times, the young people have started to settle down and seem to take a real interest in the process by asking their own sets of questions.

One time, a student brought up the social media application called Instagram because someone had posted a page of photos of girls and implied they were promiscuous. A student asked, "Why is it that girls get called horrible names and boys don't? The boys are doing the same things the girls are doing but they aren't being called names." Many of the students passed the talking piece without speaking and then one student who hadn't spoken before added, "I think it's really terrible, because one of my friends is on that page and she doesn't deserve to be."

Another male student talked about how not all boys call the girls those names and noted that girls are responsible for the name-calling too. Right before the bell rang to dismiss the class, another student yelled out, "We need to stop calling each other names!"