School across Canada joined through video conferencing to talk about bullying and cyberbullying. The participating students saw themselves as local agents of change by leading the national movement to end bullying and cyberbullying.
This national conversation started in the TIGed Virtual Classroom where students shared their definition on bullying and cyberbullying, the impact of bullying, and power of the bystander. We had over 150 blog post where each student explained what they are doing to be leaders in their school and community to put an end to bullying and cyber bullying.
Bullying and cyberbullying are ways to hurt people emotionally and physically which can lead to serious things such as depression and suicide. The students explained that a bystander have a lot more powerful than most people think and he/she can make a big difference. Bystanders should always stand up to the bully, make the one being bullied feel safe and comfortable, and always share what they witnessed to an adult or an authority figure.
On the day of the video conference, we had middle school classrooms joining us from White Rock British Colombia, Leduc Alberta, Kyle Saskatchewan, Flin Flin Manitoba, St Stephens New Brunswick, and Oxford Nova Scotia.
We also had two amazing guest speakers who joined us: Amy Newman from Red Cross Canada and Travis Price, co-founder of Pink Shirt Day and Pinkday.ca
As part of this conference, students have created Charter of Rights and Responsibilities of the Student for their school. The charters that the classrooms created explain what students expect from each other, how they should treat each other, and they expect from themselves.
With this activity, students understood that bullying & cyberbullying can be put to stop when we look beyond just ourselves. Students discovered how true change happens when we come together to create a community that celebrates the diversity and dignity for all. These Charter of Rights and Responsibilities were shared nationally with other participating classrooms during the video conference.
The charter also helped students see that there are three parties involved in most bullying cases. The bully, the one being bullied, and the bystander. To put an end to bullying and cyberbullying has to community effort. The bystandard plays a very important role stop bullying. And our guest speaker, Travis Price, demonstrate with this story how important it is for bystander to speak up.
In 2007, Travis and a friend stood up for a fellow school mate who was being bullied for wearing a pink shirt. To fight back the bully and show support to the fellow school mate who was being bullied, Travis and his friend created a school event where they requested their school mates wore pink shirts. Over 1000 students came wearing pink shirts to show support for the fellow school mate who was being bullied.
That day, Travis learned that everyone has faced bullied at some point of their live.
This small act of kindness created the fastest growing anti-bullying movement ever created, and the pink shirt is now the international symbol for anti-bullying.
Travis inspired and motivated everyone to stand up to bullying. He also shared his story when he was bullyed at his new school and someone stood up for him. This small act of bravery stopped the bullys. He encouraged everyone to be someone hero by standing up to the bullys.
The students had a chance to ask Travis and Amy questions on how they can help with their peers who maybe facing bullying and how they can deal with bullies themselves.
Overall, this event was a great success. Special thanks to Travis for sharing this story, Amy to share the amazing resources avaliabe by the Red Cross, and RCMP for making this event possible.