Kids at W.L. McLeod Elementary and Nechako Valley Secondary are taking a stance against bullies.
On Feb. 25, at 2pm, students from both McLeod and NVSS will march in pink T-shirts starting from McLeod walking up Victoria to the Burrard intersection. Continuing down Burrard to the theatre, kids will turn left and walk to the corner of the BC Access Building. The walk will finish at the end of Butte and back onto the school grounds. (Anyone is welcome to walk in the march in support of standing up against bullies.)
Later in the day, all the fine arts, digital arts and drama art students at NVSS will host an awareness-building coffee house at Burrard Street market starting at 7pm. Entry by donation will help support the NVSS band’s class trip to Cuba and attendees are encouraged to wear pink in support of ‘Stand Up’ for bullying.
“It will be a collaborative project between the entire arts community,” Anna Pye said, media arts teacher at NVSS. “The fine art students are making masks, the media arts students are proving projections, the drama students are performing with the masks and the music students will create the audio.”
The day of the coffee house doubles as the provincially-recognized Pink Shirt Day, in which wearing pink signifies people who want to stop bullying. Ms. Pye and Glenda Vahi, NVSS school councillor, have started a ‘Stand Up’ committee where kids Gr 7- 10 have come together to come up with activities on how to erase bullying in the school and community.
The group recently attended a provincially sponsored symposium in Prince George and learned about how to stop bullying, and participated in workshops on how to run a meeting, conflict resolution, one way communication, consensus building and public speaking.
“It definitely helped me understand how to be able to properly run a meeting. It also gave me some more confidence to stand up in front of people and speak,” Denny Deveau Gr 10 said, member of the Stand Up committee.
Participants also discussed how to make action plans and how to reach out to others.
“Whether it’s stand up, pink shirt day or erase bullying, it doesn’t matter what you call it. Our ultimate goal is for kids to be connected in schools, to feel safe and secure and validated for the person they are,” Ms. Vahi said.
The seminar even touched base on technological advances of bullying through cell phones and the internet.
“I learned that you should be careful about what you post over the internet since you can’t sense sarcasm through what your sending,” Patrick Vahi Gr 7 said, who attended the seminar.
The “Stand Up’ committee will start to meet weekly on Wednesdays at NVSS combined with the We DAY group. Anyone interested can talk to Anna Pye at NVSS.