Students stand up, speak out against bullying

Amanda Jess
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NEW GLASGOW – Graffiti is often viewed as vandalism, but students at Brown School at Temperance Street are using it as a way to speak out against bullying.

Grade 6 students Logan DeCoste, Thomas Devine and Jaden MacEachern show off their anti-bullying drawings. Amanda Jess – The News

As part of anti-bullying day, children from grades 4 to 6 created their own messages and artwork encouraging others against being idle bystanders.

“It’s great to hear their take because it’s not always the same as ours,” says principal Glen McCarron.

This comes on the same day the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board launched an anti-bullying initiative at all of their schools and offices.

The program called “Stand Up. Speak Out. Stop Bullying. Together” includes the development of handbooks explaining bullying, the creation of a video with students telling their stories and a re-write of the CCRSB Code of Conduct that comes into force later in the fall.

The province of Nova Scotia declared the second Thursday in September “Stand Up Against Bullying Day” after a student in Cambridge, N.S., was teased for wearing a pink shirt to school in 2007. 

Grade 12 students Travis Price and David Shepherd got their friends together to wear pink shirts in protest of bullying, and the pink wave began.

Brown School was a sea of pink Thursday.

The children were itching to explain their artwork while sporting pink in their hair and on their backs.

Many of the drawings express the message of the CCRSB initiative with the kids adding you shouldn’t just sit back and let bullying happen.

One drawing takes a different spin on the popular catchphrase YOLO, meaning You Only Live Once. For this student, it means time shouldn’t be wasted being a bully.

Another piece of artwork shows all the things one student likes because it could be used as a common ground to make friends with a bully. 

“The kids were really enthused,” said McCarron.

The exercise was a reaction to a video from a native reserve near Fredericton, N.B. 

Students and local artists at St. Mary’s First Nation replaced racist graffiti on an overpass at Two Nations Crossing with aboriginal artwork in 2012.

The reserve donated $2,000 for the project and involved the community as a way to instil pride in the outdoor mural.

New Glasgow students taped their drawings on the walls in one of the classrooms at Brown School. 

The school plans to put all of the pictures together for an album at a later date. 

 

 HYPERLINK "mailto:Amanda.jess@ngnews.ca" Amanda.jess@ngnews.ca

On Twitter: NGNewsAmanda

Organizations: Brown School, Central Regional School Board

Geographic location: Chignecto, Nova Scotia, Cambridge Fredericton New Glasgow

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