Acceptance – PinkShirt Day February 27, 2013

ACCEPTANCE!

Coming up this week, onpinkshirtday February 27, 2013, is Anti-bullying day, where we can all take a stand,  show our support and Acceptance for everyone in our schools, community, neighbourhood and life! This day is about ACCEPTANCE, and to be who we are, without fear of being judged, bullied, picked on, or excluded.  No one should be bullied by anyone, and they should be accepted as they are, as our Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects us, here in Canada.

15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

Back in 2007, in Nova Scotia, a Grade 9 boy wore a pink shirt to school one day.  He was ridiculed, harassed, called names, and bullied by other students at the school.  They called him a homosexual, and they made his life very difficult and completely unfair.  This sparked a response from other students in the school, who rallied around this boy, all coming to school the next day wearing Pink Shirts in solidarity.  It does not matter what race, gender, sexual orientation, how you look, talk, or act is, it matters who you are, and who you Accept in your life!  We should Accept everyone as they are, and to demonstrate this Acceptance and inclusion, many schools in Vancouver, BC, gathered together recently to create a Flash Mob to show the emotion and power of a large group of passionate people working together to promote Acceptance!

This video highlights that when we all come together, we can make massive changes in the way we treat each other.  We can Accept people as they are, and treat them with respect, caring, and friendship.  We don’t need to judge or put others down to make ourselves feel better.  We can commit to making others feel better by sharing stories of good people, helping others, caring for each other and to include people in our communities, groups and classes.

This lesson and movement is especially important online!  Using social media allows us to connect with ever wider groups and communities online.  It allows us to reach out, and to share with the whole world if we want to.  We need  to claim this online space to make sure it is safe and Accepting as well!  We need to commit to making our online tools and communities more friendly, accepting and free of bullying.  We need to demonstrate positive interactions, telling people nice things, ignoring mean people and mean things online.  Call out bullying when you see it.  Don’t stand by, letting the bully ruin someone else’s life.  Stand up where and when you see any bullying and fight it with caring, positive and friendly advice.  IF we ALL do our PART, bullying could be stopped forever!

Finally, I recommend you watch a very powerful Poem, To This Day Project – by Shane Koyczan a poem about the impacts and struggles that everyone who’s ever been bullied can go through.  This powerful story will tell you why it is so much more hurtful and harmful than you can ever imagine.

So, this year, on this day, Feb 27th, 2013, PLEASE COMMIT to changing the way you interact with everyone in your life, online or not.  Tell people nice things.  Include people in what you’re doing.  Call out bullying and reach a hand out to those you see getting bullied.  Put on your Pink Shirt and begin ACCEPTING everyone in your life for who they are.  It’s the right thing to do!

Stop A Bully! Canada-wide anti-bullying program!

http://www.stopabully.ca

I wanted to profile an amazing anti-bullying resource that is available to help any student who is a victim of bullying, any student that witnesses another student getting bullied, and any school that needs help addressing bullying in their school!  This website, while Canadian, offers a lot of extra resources, links, helpful advice, real contacts for students getting bullied and how to MAKE IT STOP!  Anyone can report bullying (cyber, or face to face) anonymously to this website and they will follow up on anything reported to them, by getting in contact with your school.  Their mission statement is:

STOP A BULLY strives to promote and enhance social wellness among youth by empowering them to address bullying. STOP A BULLY is committed to providing any student, parent or educator opportunity to report bullying and cyberbullying in a safe and anonymous manner by giving them an effective online reporting system. STOP A BULLY aims to enhance and foster a schools ability to address bullying incidents in a proactive and timely manner by providing detailed reports of bullying incidents, as well as education and prevention strategies.

They provide many services and resources to help any student, parent or educator dealing with bullies and the effect of bullying in their schools.  They can provide:

  •  safe and anonymous reporting of bullying
  • help understand what bullying is and what it might look like
  • assist schools to become proactive in preventing bullying from even starting
  • encourage and engage students in helping fight bullying at their own schools
  • provide anti-bullying materials for any school that would want them
  • are available to help ANY Canadian student who might be experiencing bullying and needs help.

Another service Stop A Bully provides is to help understand what bullying can look like and the many forms it comes in.  They have created this graphic that shows how many different ways bullying occurs.

So, please, take a few moments to check out this fantastic website and hopefully, if we all work together to understand bullying, what it is, what it looks like and how we can avoid it, one day we won’t have to report bullies anymore as they will have become extinct!

Repost of Student’s perspective on Bullying.

Below is a repost of the BUZZ’s most popular post, from Anti-Bullying day last year.  Please, read, share and act to help stop BULLYING whereever it might be!

As today is “Wear Pink” day in order to bring more awareness to Bullying and Cyber-Bullying, I thought it would be valuable and important to hear about these issues from a Student’s Perspective.  Rebecca Gorgitza, a student with the Vancouver Learning Network wrote this Guest Blog Post for the BUZZ to share her feelings, suggestions, advice and experiences with Bullying.  This powerful piece of writing is straight from the heart and I encourage you to share this far and wide today, to raise awareness about this important issue. LETS ERADICATE BULLYING TOGETHER!

Hello bloggers!

Now, you all know its Anti-Bully day (I know you know because I can see all the pink shirts through my computer!), and I hope you realize what it means.  Think about it, if you will.  To me, Anti-bully day isn’t just a day for everyone to be nice to each other; it’s a step towards a total change for the better.  It’s just a taste of just how nice being nice can be, if that makes sense.  Getting along with each other is a lot easier than you’d think.  The thing is bullying isn’t just the stereotypical mean kid making rude comments when you pass in the halls.  It’s a lot more than that- it’s even on the web…. And it can be much worse when you’re being cyber-bullied rather than bullied in real life. (Key word, can) Cyber-bullying is like bullying in person, except it can be taken too far, too fast, and without much notice from anyone except for the kid being bullied.  It’s little things like harsh comments on statuses, or nasty chat messages on facebook or big things like constant outright rude comments on pieces of art on deviantart.  I honestly don’t know what goes through cyberbullies heads’ when they do such things, but I wish I could understand.  I do know, however, the effects of it.  It takes away confidence, tears away self-esteem, makes you feel worthless.  Makes you ask yourself “am I so unlovable and worthless that they have to attack me over the internet!?” (The answer to that question is always no, you are not unlovable or worthless) It makes you want to fight back, but when you do, you realize you can’t win, so you give up.  It puts you in a Slump (yes, just the like one Dr. Seuss talks about in Oh The Places You’ll Go).  Now, my recommendation for you to get out of that Slump is to have an epiphany.  Unfortunately, not even Walmart sells those, so maybe you should tell someone about the trouble you’re having.  Now, if you’re like me, you’ll have a few teachers who don’t seem to care too much.  Avoid them.  Go to your counselor (they became counselors because they wanted to help!  They’ll definitely care.), or that really nice, motherly teacher.  Or tell your parents, though that can be a bit harder to do since most parents are totally over protective, and you, being a teenager, don’t want to make a big deal about it.  Maybe you’re really shy about it…. In that case you can start by saying something like:
“So, hypothetically, if someone was getting cyber-bullied,what should they do?”
Or
“I have this ‘friend’… he/she’s getting cyber-bullied.  What should this ‘friend’ do?”
Then, progress to talking about yourself. The most important things you, a student, need to know are that a) the bully will probably not stop “just ‘cause.” Remember, there are “Report Abuse”, “Flag” and “Block” buttons which may start to solve your problem! And b) The only way you are guaranteed to get help is by telling someone who cares.   Oh, and if you have a friend who is being cyber-bullied/bullied and they tell you about it…. Don’t just say “oh”.  Please, please don’t.  Stand up for them.  Tell them they’re amazing.  Help them- it’s your responsibility as a friend.
Now, to the edumacators and ‘rents:

NEVER IGNORE A KID WHEN THEY ASK FOR HELP, AND NEVER BRUSH IT OFF.

It happens too often, and it’s sad.  I don’t care whether it’s cyber-bullying, bullying, or issues that don’t have a single cause.  Help the kid.  You may not know exactly when a kid is being cyber-bullied/bullied, and you may not be able to stand up for them… but thinking about it from their point of view, helping them, talking to them, giving them ideas and positive escapes from the stress and hurt is a lot better than doing nothing.
If you would like to learn more about “Pink Shirt Day” please check out this CBC news article about the two young men from Nova Scotia who stood up to bullies and created this North American movement!  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2007/09/18/pink-tshirts-students.html
Also, be sure to check out our own “Cyber-Bullying” Page here @ THE BUZZ as we have many tips, resources and places for help if you or anyone you know is suffering from Bullying or Cyber-Bullying.  If you are an educator looking for a powerpoint presentation to use with your class, be sure to check this one out from our Planning 1o Teacher Brenda Kvist! Anti-Bullying
Happy Pink Shirt Day!

Anti-Bullying Day Flash Mobs 2012 Edition!

Last year, on Anti-Bullying day, David Loyd George Elementary and Churchill Secondary School combined to create a moving and powerful flash mob to bring awareness and understanding to Bullying issues in our schools today.  This amazing video went viral, with over 800,000 views! Everyone was talking about the impact of this flash mob and their video, and how much awareness it brought to this very important issue that effects all of us.  There were pink shirts everywhere and there was people talking about what we can all do to help eradicate bullying wherever it might pop-up.

Well, not to be out-done, but this year, the same group of students and teachers combined with more schools from around the lower-mainland, BC and even New York to create this years Flash Mob!  Please, watch (and share!) this fantastic video that involves more students, more schools, and more people in helping share the knowledge and understanding that if we all work together, in unison, we can defeat the bullies around us!  When is Anti-Bullying day?  Its tomorrow, Feb 29th, 2012!

You can view the video directly on youtube by clicking this link

Also adding to the momentum this year for Anti-bullying day is the Richmond, BC School District, as they combined over 500 students, staff and teachers from the whole district to show their united front against bullying.  Their video was filmed in a local mall, over 3 levels and is a very powerful demonstration of what we can all accomplish by working together to achieve something great!

You can view this video directly on youtube by clicking this link 

 

Also, not to be left out, I’ve just found a third flash mob, this one performed by students from  Reynolds Secondary School, Arbutus Middle School and Cedar Hill Middle School in Victoria, directly in front of the Legislature.  They found a way to work together, in unison to show their support and efforts at eradicating bullying!  Way to go!

You can view this video directly on youtube by clicking this link

Please, watch these videos, share them with your family and friends, and talk about these issues about bullying with everyone you can.  Don’t let bullying go by without intervening and letting the bullies know that you are not “OK” with this!  Stand up for your fellow students, help eradicate bullying and get your dance on!

Cyber-Bullying: A Student’s Perspective

As today is “Wear Pink” day in order to bring more awareness to Bullying and Cyber-Bullying, I thought it would be valuable and important to hear about these issues from a Student’s Perspective.  Rebecca Gorgitza, a student with the Vancouver Learning Network wrote this Guest Blog Post for the BUZZ to share her feelings, suggestions, advice and experiences with Bullying.  This powerful piece of writing is straight from the heart and I encourage you to share this far and wide today, to raise awareness about this important issue. LETS ERADICATE BULLYING TOGETHER!

Hello bloggers!

Now, you all know its Anti-Bully day (I know you know because I can see all the pink shirts through my computer!), and I hope you realize what it means.  Think about it, if you will.  To me, Anti-bully day isn’t just a day for everyone to be nice to each other; it’s a step towards a total change for the better.  It’s just a taste of just how nice being nice can be, if that makes sense.  Getting along with each other is a lot easier than you’d think.  The thing is bullying isn’t just the stereotypical mean kid making rude comments when you pass in the halls.  It’s a lot more than that- it’s even on the web…. And it can be much worse when you’re being cyber-bullied rather than bullied in real life. (Key word, can) Cyber-bullying is like bullying in person, except it can be taken too far, too fast, and without much notice from anyone except for the kid being bullied.  It’s little things like harsh comments on statuses, or nasty chat messages on facebook or big things like constant outright rude comments on pieces of art on deviantart.  I honestly don’t know what goes through cyberbullies heads’ when they do such things, but I wish I could understand.  I do know, however, the effects of it.  It takes away confidence, tears away self-esteem, makes you feel worthless.  Makes you ask yourself “am I so unlovable and worthless that they have to attack me over the internet!?” (The answer to that question is always no, you are not unlovable or worthless) It makes you want to fight back, but when you do, you realize you can’t win, so you give up.  It puts you in a Slump (yes, just the like one Dr. Seuss talks about in Oh The Places You’ll Go).  Now, my recommendation for you to get out of that Slump is to have an epiphany.  Unfortunately, not even Walmart sells those, so maybe you should tell someone about the trouble you’re having.  Now, if you’re like me, you’ll have a few teachers who don’t seem to care too much.  Avoid them.  Go to your counselor (they became counselors because they wanted to help!  They’ll definitely care.), or that really nice, motherly teacher.  Or tell your parents, though that can be a bit harder to do since most parents are totally over protective, and you, being a teenager, don’t want to make a big deal about it.  Maybe you’re really shy about it…. In that case you can start by saying something like:
“So, hypothetically, if someone was getting cyber-bullied,
what should they do?”
Or
“I have this ‘friend’… he/she’s getting cyber-bullied.  What should this ‘friend’ do?”
Then, progress to talking about yourself. The most important things you, a student, need to know are that a) the bully will probably not stop “just ‘cause.” Remember, there are “Report Abuse”, “Flag” and “Block” buttons which may start to solve your problem! And b) The only way you are guaranteed to get help is by telling someone who cares.   Oh, and if you have a friend who is being cyber-bullied/bullied and they tell you about it…. Don’t just say “oh”.  Please, please don’t.  Stand up for them.  Tell them they’re amazing.  Help them- it’s your responsibility as a friend.
Now, to the edumacators and ‘rents:
NEVER IGNORE A KID WHEN THEY ASK FOR HELP, AND NEVER BRUSH IT OFF.
It happens too often, and it’s sad.  I don’t care whether it’s cyber-bullying, bullying, or issues that don’t have a single cause.  Help the kid.  You may not know exactly when a kid is being cyber-bullied/bullied, and you may not be able to stand up for them… but thinking about it from their point of view, helping them, talking to them, giving them ideas and positive escapes from the stress and hurt is a lot better than doing nothing.
If you would like to learn more about “Pink Shirt Day” please check out this CBC news article about the two young men from Nova Scotia who stood up to bullies and created this North American movement!  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2007/09/18/pink-tshirts-students.html

Also, be sure to check out our own “Cyber-Bullying” Page here @ THE BUZZ as we have many tips, resources and places for help if you or anyone you know is suffering from Bullying or Cyber-Bullying.  If you are an educator looking for a powerpoint presentation to use with your class, be sure to check this one out from our Planning 1o Teacher Brenda Kvist! Anti-Bullying
Happy Pink Shirt Day!

%d bloggers like this: