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Fox students want to change attitudes about bullying

Simran Narwal, Gr. 11, Cynthia Hui, Gr. 12, Delaney Edgar, Gr. 12 and Mitchel Brown, Gr. 11, will be surveying students about their attitudes towards bullying and ways to prevent it. The results will be turned into a play that School District 43 students will be able to see next spring. - DIANE STRANDBERG/THE TRI-CITY NEWS
Simran Narwal, Gr. 11, Cynthia Hui, Gr. 12, Delaney Edgar, Gr. 12 and Mitchel Brown, Gr. 11, will be surveying students about their attitudes towards bullying and ways to prevent it. The results will be turned into a play that School District 43 students will be able to see next spring.
— image credit: DIANE STRANDBERG/THE TRI-CITY NEWS

A group of Terry Fox students is grateful for the interest adults have shown in bullying.

Now, though, they say it's time for kids themselves to do something about it.

The students in Dean Whitson's three leadership classes at the Port Coquitlam high school are about to launch an anti-bullying campaign they hope will do more than just raise awareness on Pink-T-Shirt Day but will motivate kids to stop bullying online and on the school ground every day.

"It's really up to us, if we want to change it," explained Simran Narwal, a Gr. 11 student .

Beginning this week, the students will be raising funds for the anti-bullying project that will include a survey and two plays about the issue for School District 43 students. Teachers will also get a DVD of the production to show to students to extend the learning and change the culture.

The idea came up during a brainstorm following a visit to the Me to We conference in October. The students wanted to do something to raise awareness about bullying and its effects for students at all grade levels.

"If we can get the young students into it, by the end of Grade 12, they'll be really into it (non-bullying behaviour)," said Delaney Edgar, a Grade 12 student, whose acting teacher Mandy Tulloch of ABC Let's Act will be writing the plays.

By selling t-shirts at SD43 high schools, students hope to raise enough money to mount two plays that Tulloch will write over the Christmas holidays. Material for the plays will come from surveys the students plan to conduct at six elementary, middle and secondary schools over the next few weeks.

The students plan to ask questions about bullying behavior, the level of prevalence and ways to stop it in the hopes of getting more information from the students' perspective.

However, the leadership students admit there will be challenges because bullying is not well understood, there isn't a clear definition and some people might laugh it off while others will stay silent out of fear.

But by starting somewhere, and trying to obtain a student perspective, the youth from Fox hope to clear some of the fog around the issue and encourage young people to take some meaningful action.

"Anyone can wear a pink shirt, but whether or not it means anything," said Edgar, "We want as many people as possible to know about the issue and take it seriously."

dstrandberg@tricitynews.com

 

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