‘Say one nice thing.’
That is the message that will be spreading like wild fire through local schools as Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week gets underway from November 21 to 25.
As part of the Hastings Prince Edward School Board’s well-being priority in the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan the award winning, ‘Say One Nice Thing’ campaign being launched next week encourages a welcoming, inclusive, safe and accepting learning environment that optimizes students’ potential.
The message promotes showing kindness for others through welcoming behaviours, such as smiling, saying ‘hi’ and asking how things are going outside school and work.
On the HPEDSB’s website it explains the Ministry of Education is currently developing a shared vision of how to best support the well-being of all students, in collaboration with parents, students, educators and administrators, counsellors, social workers, and community partners across the province. Consultation is underway now through the Ministry’s Well-Being Strategy.
Executive Director of the local Canadian Mental Health Association Sandie Sidsworth said this type of positive encouragement can do a lot for a young person’s development because the effects of bullying can leave a lasting impression.
Bullying includes but is not limited to emotional and physical abuse. Cyber-bullying is a growing form of abuse where people are using electronic media to threaten, embarrass, intimidate, exclude or damage someone’s reputation causing enormous pain.
Sidsworth said it’s important for everyone to think before they jump on the social media and being verbally ‘abusive, nasty or sarcastic’ because it leaves the victim picking themselves back up under the weight of condemnation.
When asked about tips for parents who maybe trying to help their child through bullying Sidesworth offers some advise.
Our newsroom has reached out to the HPEDSB for comment on events planned for next week.
For tips on how you can prevent or take action against bullying click here.
If you or someone you know is being bullied and need help contact the Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 or go to the Kids Help Phone website. Kids Help Phone is a free, anonymous, and confidential phone and web counselling service.