‘If you stand up to it, you can make a dif­fer­ence’

Mount Uni­acke stu­dents treated to Stand Up! Rally, learn about anti-bul­ly­ing strate­gies

Valley Journal Advertiser - - COMMUNITY - BY COLIN CHISHOLM WWW.HANTSJOURNAL.CA Colin.Chisholm@hantsjournal.ca

With mu­sic blar­ing, stu­dents dab­bing and teach­ers smil­ing, there was a def­i­nite pos­i­tive en­ergy in the air at the Uni­acke Dis­trict School on Nov. 1.

Myles Er­lick and Alexan­dra Chaves, stars of the Fam­ily Chan­nel tele­vi­sion show The Next Step, showed off some dance moves and talked about bul­ly­ing, as part of the 15th an­nual Stand Up! Cam­paign.

Made­line Neary, 11, en­tered a con­test to bring the cam­paign to her school and said she was thrilled to see the cast mem­bers of one of her favourite shows.

“It was re­ally crazy, like I didn’t even know I was go­ing to win,” said the Grade 6 stu­dent.

When she en­tered into the con­test, Neary ex­plained what her school does to ad­dress the is­sue of bul­ly­ing, men­tion­ing that they wear pink to raise aware­ness and will have assem­blies on the topic.

“Schools have lots of bul­ly­ing, that hap­pens, and I find our school does have some, but not as much as oth­ers,” she said. “We re­ally try here to have it not hap­pen here.”

One of the things that Neary said she took from the pre­sen­ta­tion was the idea that you can al­ways tell an adult when you wit­ness or are a part of bul­ly­ing.

Made­line’s mother, Tanya Neary, said she was sur­prised when she found out her daugh­ter won.

“One kid can make a dif­fer­ence,” she said. “It just shows that, and it’s the same with bully- ing, if you stand up to it, you can make a dif­fer­ence.”

Joy King, vice-prin­ci­pal at Uni­acke Dis­trict School, said the ad­min­is­tra­tion takes bul­ly­ing se­ri­ously, even as the is­sue be­comes more com­plex with so­cial me­dia be­com­ing a larger fac­tor.

“We work re­ally closely with the RCMP… and the mes­sage is brought for­ward through­out the whole year,” King said. “It’s a huge part of what we rep­re­sent. It can be a chal­lenge be­cause be­fore you’d leave school and the bul­ly­ing stopped, but now when you go home it’s ev­ery­where.”

King also said she was happy to have an event that could bring the whole school, which ranges from Pri­mary to Grade 9, to­gether.

“It’s of­ten hard to find some­thing that re­ally reaches ev­ery- body,” she said. “Ev­ery­body here was so in­volved and so ex­cited that it was hap­pen­ing. I had tears in my eyes be­cause the kids were so ex­cited.”

Stand Up! shirts and books were dis­trib­uted to the school’s 405 stu­dents.

The day was filmed by a film pro­duc­tion com­pany and por­tions are ex­pected to air at a later date, along with two other events at schools across Canada.

COLIN CHISHOLM

Made­line Neary, 11, grabs some pho­tos with Myles Er­lick and Alexan­dra Chaves fol­low­ing the Stand Up! rally at Uni­acke Dis­trict School

COLIN CHISHOLM

Some stu­dents got a lit­tle emo­tional when meet­ing Myles Er­lick and Alexan­dra Chaves of the Fam­ily Chan­nel show The Next Step.

COLIN CHISHOLM

Stu­dents at the Uni­acke Dis­trict School smile wide for the cam­eras dur­ing the Stand Up! anti-bul­ly­ing rally on Nov. 1.

COLIN CHISHOLM

Myles Er­lick and Alexan­dra Chaves sit down next to stu­dents at the school to grab some footage dur­ing the Step Up! rally.

COLIN CHISHOLM

Stu­dents at Uni­acke Dis­trict School get up to dance along with Myles Er­lick and Alexan­dra Chaves after a pre­sen­ta­tion on bul­ly­ing.

COLIN CHISHOLM

Myles Er­lick and Alexan­dra Chaves, stars of The Next Step, per­form a dance rou­tine for the stu­dents at Uni­acke Dis­trict School.

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