‘Say no to bul­lies’ - pre­fects

The Tribune (NZ) - - OUT & ABOUT - NI­CHOLAS MCBRIDE

High school stu­dents are urg­ing their class­mates not to turn a blind eye to bul­ly­ing.

Palmer­ston North Boys’ High School has adopted a new an­tibul­ly­ing cam­paign and it is al­ready work­ing.

The cam­paign – Don’t be a by­stander, be an up­stander; Say no to bul­ly­ing – en­cour­ages the boys to stand up if they see some­thing, rather than ig­nor­ing it.

Head pre­fect Pa­trick Taku­rua said they made a pre­sen­ta­tion to their fel­low stu­dents last week. ‘‘The feed­back has been quite over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive. Af­ter the pre­sen­ta­tion one guy came into the coun­sel­lor with an­other boy and said ‘I’ve been do­ing the wrong thing’. That re­sponse was ex­actly what we wanted.’’

Deputy rec­tor Ger­ard Atkin said the idea be­hind the cam­paign was to stop it be­fore it be­came a prob­lem. ‘‘We are not that naive to say there is no bul­ly­ing here. But rather than wait for those sit­u­a­tions to come to our at­ten­tion, we are try­ing to be proac­tive.’’

Atkin said it built on themes that the school had of brother­hood and be­ing a fam­ily.

‘‘You stand up for peo­ple in your fam­ily. It is all about stand­ing up for each other.’’

The mes­sage be­hind the cam­paign is that bul­ly­ing can only suc­ceed ‘be­hind a cloak of dark­ness’.

Atkin said it was the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the stu­dents to look out for each other.

‘‘It is just about get­ting the boys to do the right thing.’’

MUR­RAY WIL­SON/FAIR­FAX NZ

Palmer­ston North Boys’ High School pre­fects Michael Ioane, Greg Shaw and Pa­trick Taku­rua.

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