The Lorentz Lyceum is a secondary school for MAVO, HAVO, VWO AND bilingual (English) education. However, most people will be familiar with the school as a result of the Facebook Murder. The school was involved in a collective trauma, after classmate Joyce ('Winsie') was murdered by 15-year-old Jinhua on January 19, 2012. Reason: 15-year-old Joyce had been gossiping about her girlfriend Polly (also 15 and a student at the Lorentz Lyceum) on Facebook. Polly paid Jinhua twenty euros to kill Joyce. He did. During the attack he also injured her father seriously. Jinhua, who did not attend Lorentz and came from Capelle aan den IJssel, was sentenced to 1 year in prison plus TBS, the highest punishment for offenders under 16. Polly was given two years youth detention plus 3 years TBS, including 1 year probation, for incitement. That’s why Lorentz Lyceum courageously decided to take the challenge and cross the line with the classes that have been through this.
Annemarie van Lanen – Principal
“We have kept the media out of the loop since the murder of our student Joyce (Winsie) Hau*, but for Over de Streep we made an exception. The production crew had informed us (parents, students, MR and coworkers) really well and we decided to take the challenge. The reaction from our coworkers after they heard that we were participating was mixed, and everyone had the choice whether to be involved in Challenge Day. A couple of weeks ago we saw the preview, and had a chance to offer comments and give our permission to broadcast. The production crew was really careful in this process. For our 4th graders the Challenge Day was in the studio and for our 3rd graders the Challenge Day was at school without cameras. All the students had an important role during the days, some of them a big one in the series like the best friend of Joyce.
We see our participation in the Challenge Day, as far as this is possible, as a completion of an internal process due to the loss of our student Joyce. But not only that, it is really special to see how students open up in no time and how they show their emotions. They impress each other by telling their stories about bullying, situations at home or negative behavior. We can also use this in class now as a reference. It is really precious.”
*In the media they speak of the Facebook Murder.
The OSG West-Friesland is a large school located in the town of Hoorn. Many enthusiastic students from the Athenaeum stream have requested to participate in Over de Streep, because of all the judgments people have about them that it's easy for them because they are smart. When they signed up for Over de Streep, the lower-grade MAVO students were upset, because they think it is ridiculous that THEY are doing Challenge Day, stating that there is nothing wrong with highly gifted children, is there? It’s time to cross the line.
Iris van ’t Hull – Chief of VWO department "How do you catch a day like Challenge Day in words? And how do you put that in writing? It is almost impossible. The atmosphere that hangs on such a day, the laughter and tears, the hugs, resilience and flexibility of our students, the openness of our coworkers…. It was wonderful, beautiful, nice, sweet, tiring, emotional, cozy and extremely valuable. A huge gift from, with and to our students and coworkers.
The impact that it has on the students and the school? There is still a lot of hugging at school and we created a common knowledge where we can all refer to. Students express their expectations towards teachers better now. Towards the students we have a reference when it comes to desired behavior and how to address that. We look forward to participating in another Challenge Day next year with more students and coworkers in order to increase the effect that it has in the school."
't Beeckland is located in the tiny village of Vorden in the south-east rear corner (Achterhoek) of the Netherlands. It is a small school with about 500 pupils studying preparatory mid-level vocational education (VMBO). 't Beeckland hosts all VMBO levels, vocational education, mid-management oriented learning (Kader) and theoretical learning (MAVO). All the levels are going to cross the line together. Vorden is a typical, Achterhoek village where rumors spread quickly. They do not open up very easily, so it is a big challenge for them to cross the line.
Sjaak Stans – Principal
"It was a really impressive experience to participate in a Challenge Day with our students from ‘t Beeckland. Although I have some fear of ‘emotion television’, it has become clear to me that by participating in this project, the school has received a lot of opportunities on how to make student behavior more recognizable. The students were really touched and their attitudes changed. We think it’s important to provide students with a safe learning environment and Challenge Day gave us a good instrument to get grip on this. Our mission is: Beeckland does something with you, now more than ever!"
Sanne van Kranenburg – Teacher
‘When I saw the previous season of Over de Streep, I immediately signed up our school for the upcoming season. I was so surprised when we got a call from the production that we were chosen. On the 24th of January we experienced a Challenge Day. We left really early in the morning with approximately 100 excited students from the third grade. Time flied that day, we had so much fun. All the students and adults were participating really well with the games and we laughed so much. I thought It was amazing to see how the students got completely into the games. After we went into family groups, everyone had the chance to share something about themselves. During this activity we learned a lot from and about each other. Slowly we worked towards the next activity, cross the line. This was really hard for a lot of students and adults. Doing this activity you get to see what others experience in their lives and you think about what you have experienced yourself. Everybody was silent and you noticed that as the activity continued, we became a lot closer as a group.
This day made a difference for our third graders. Of course the Challenge Day is not enough, you cannot change somebody just in one day. We need to take our responsibility at our school and move further with the techniques we’ve learned during the Challenge Day to offer our students a safe learning environment, a place where they can be themselves. Challenge Day has given us that step forward and gave us a lot of opportunities to continue working on this. Thank you!"
The Rosa is a very small, intimate school with only 250 all-female students in the north of Amsterdam. The Rosa is a traditional girls school due to the type of vocational education it provides: Beauty therapy and care. At the moment, the school is having problems with cyber bullying. On a daily basis they deal with incidents related to internet bullying, which can range from something minor such as a sentence that is incorrectly interpreted or something major like photos. It’s time for Challenge Day!
Ursi Op ’t Land – Principal
“Our students and one of their teachers signed us up for Over de Streep last year. We were happily surprised when we got chosen to participate. The production crew informed us really well about what when and how everything was going to happen. Also the students and teachers got a lot of information about us participating a Challenge Day. The 22nd of January was the day! With busses we travelled all together to the studios in Aalsmeer where the crew was all ready and set for us.
Our goal for the Challenge Day, was to show our students that everyone has their own story, students do and teachers do. We want to show the ‘bullies’ what kind of impact their behavior has on their victims and our goals where achieved largely. Even better, the bullies apologized. There was a really good shift of activities during the Challenge Day from where the students showed their sorrows and pain and between the games, dancing and having a lot of fun. It was a fantastic day and an experience that we will keep in our memories every day. We want to thank the crew of the production, the leaders Pam and Jake and all the supporters of this great experience!”
Karina Kombrink – Teacher
“Challenge Day was great, but also a little bit hard. Students and teachers acted crazy and played games together. We had so much fun. But it was also really touching to see our students this vulnerable. At school they are the tough girls who do not show their emotions, but I was shocked by how many times they had to cross the line. Students got a chance to see this from each other and that gained a lot more respect towards each other at school.”
Kennemer College in Heemskerk is a really big school with all different levels of education. Something that stands out at this school, is that a particularly large number of students only have one parent. This is either as a result of death, addiction or mental illness. The students have no idea that they have this in common, because they do not talk about it at school. The third grade mavo students are taking the challenge and they are going to join Over de Streep.
Rob Feenstra – Principal
“On the 28th of January we got the chance to participate in Challenge Day. Our own students signed us up as a school, because they have the need to get to know each other better, gather more respect and learn more about what we all go through in our lives. We weren’t sure about the impact it was going to have on the students and coworkers and what it would do to the atmosphere in the school, but we absolutely believed in it, so we took the challenge.
I can’t thank the students who signed us up for this enough for the possibilities that were offered to us. It was magnificent to see how the students and adults opened up towards each other, sharing their stories and seeing how much respect they gained by doing that. Not only during the Challenge Day, but even during the viewing of the episode, it had a lot of positive impact. All the parents were really proud to see how their kids shared their stories and how this was being received by the other kids. After this experience we, as a school, were convinced that we need to integrate this workshop in our teaching program.
During the viewing, we immediately made a reservation to organize a Challenge Day for the new third graders next year. I want to thank all our coworkers, Jill, Jessica, Arie and of course the camera crew, thank you so much for this wonderful and special experience.”