Thinking pink at Galt
colour pink was in prominence, last Wednesday, at Alexander Galt High School. It was Anti-bullying Day, held every year on the last Wednesday of February, and pink tee shirts, pink ribbons, pink wristbands, and anything else pink, was the costume of the day.
“The Anti-bullying Club planned a ‘pink shirt day’ for last Wednesday. Running up to Pink Shirt Day they ran a contest during the week where students could win either a pink tee shirt or a ‘Stop a bully’ wristband,” explained cycle 1Math and Science teacher, Jennifer Meagher, who oversees the club. To take part in the contest, students first had to read some tragic, true stories about bullying, true biog- raphies, researched and written by Mrs. Comeau’s level 1 English students, that were posted around the school. Then they had to answer questions about the stories to earn either a tee shirt or a wristband.
“We were pretty pleased with the contest; lots of kids entered it. We have noticed that when we talk about bullying, we get more reports on the “Stop a Bully” website. It makes people more aware,” commented Ms. Meagher. The “Stop a Bully” website, which allows people to report bullying incidences anonymously, is easily accessed on the school’s website.
Members of the AntiBullying Club also gave out pink ribbons and made presentations. The school’s Student Services staff got in on the act with a ‘Think pink for pink drink’ cam- paign, giving out pink lemonade and pink wristbands on Wednesday.
According to the students, cyber-bullying, or bullying through social media like facebook, is getting bigger. There is also verbal bullying, name-calling, exclusion and sometimes physical abuse.
The club’s anti-bullying effort will continue past anti-bullying week with monthly themes dealing with issues such as cyberbullying and homophobia.
The school’s Anti- Bullying Club had a rather unusual beginning. “Last year I started a group of students for a Student Council on the junior side. When we met, the students always wanted to talk about bullying. If something is important to them, then it’s important to us. So this year we decided that the group would focus on bullying,” said Ms. Meagher.
At the National Assembly earlier in February, the Quebec government presented Bill 56, an anti-bullying law that would require all schools in the province to adopt an anti-bullying and anti-violence plan which includes designating someone responsible for the plan. It also calls for partnerships between the schools and police and social services.
Teacher Jennifer Meagher, far left, oversees Galt’s Anti-bullying Club which will remain active until yearend. Members of the club are (l. to r.) Alexandre Goddard, Gabriele Szekely, Tiffany Stonehouse, Claire Paillard and Jeffrey Courtemanche.