Close Up Conversation #2C (Option 3): Opioid Crisis

Overview
RECOMMENDED GRADE LEVELS: 9-12

In this conversation, you will be reacquainted with students from your paired classroom, and will draw on your discussions about political values as well as your reading and discussions about the opioid epidemic, public health, and the proper response of government. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think this important social and political issue.

Round 1 (~4 minutes)

Overview and agreements

RECOMMENDED GRADE LEVELS: 9-12 In this conversation, you will be reacquainted with students from your paired classroom, and will draw on your discussions about political values as well as your reading and discussions about the opioid epidemic, public health, and the proper response of government. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think this important social and political issue.

Before every conversation, you will be asked to read and agree to the following coversation agreements:

 Be Curious and Open to Learning.
Listen to and be open to hearing all points of view. Maintain an attitude of exploration and learning. Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking.

Show Respect and Suspend Judgment.
Human beings tend to judge one another, do your best not to. Setting judgments aside will better enable you to learn from others and help them feel respected and appreciated.

Look for Common Ground and Appreciate Differences.
In this conversation, we look for what we agree on and simply appreciate that we will disagree on some beliefs and opinions.

Be Authentic and Welcome that from Others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak authentically from your personal and heartfelt experience. Be considerate to others who are doing the same.

Be Purposeful and to the Point.
Notice if what you are conveying is or is not “on purpose” to the question at hand. Notice if you are making the same point more than once.

Own and Guide the Conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation by noticing what’s happening and actively support getting yourself and others back “on purpose” when needed.
Round 2 (~10 minutes)

Reestablish connection

Get reacquainted with students from your paired classroom. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning a medal in?
What hobby or activity would you try if money were no obstacle?
Round 3 (~25 minutes)

Understand our positions and other positions

Share your views and values—and listen openly to the views and values of others—without debating or trying to change anyone's opinion. Each participant should try to answer each of the following questions:

How prevalent is drug use in your community? Has the opioid epidemic impacted your community?
What ideas and images come to mind for you when discussing the opioid epidemic, addiction, and drug use?
Which political values are most relevant for you when thinking about and discussing the opioid crisis and the role of government?
--> Equality
--> Equity
--> Liberty
--> Security
--> Public Good
--> Private Interests
What do you see as the most pressing issues or problems related to the opioid epidemic?
What policies that you discussed in class do you support? Oppose? See list below:
--> A limited federal/national role
--> Tax opioid manufacturers to help pay for government services related to opioid addiction
--> Pass the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act
--> Congress should commit $100 billion over ten years to combat drug addiction, giving money to cities, counties, states, and other organizations for addiction treatment and prevention programs.
What other ideas for drug addiction and the opioid epidemic do you know about? What is your opinion of those ideas?
Can you identify a possible idea on which all participants agree?
Round 4 (~10 minutes)

Reflect and share takeaways

Reflect on -- and share with other participants -- how it felt to join this conversation. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:

In one sentence, share what was most valuable to you in this conversation.
What new learning or appreciation do you have after joining this conversation? 
Have you found common ground that surprised you? 
What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?

Round 5 (~1 minutes)

Say goodbye

Say thank you and goodbye!