Earlier this year a student-led anti-bullying assembly and student-created bulletin board at John Henderson Elementary put out the message loud and clear that the school bullies are not welcome.
Earlier this year, 32 Grade 7 leadership students met up every Monday and Tuesday to organize an anti-bullying assembly. All the planning for the special day took place between January 12 and March 2 under the supervision of Cody Boneham, a student support worker and Azin Sadr, a Grade 1 teacher at Henderson. Boneham says the student leaders spent their time making and practicing scripts, talking about what Pink Day is, and why it is important and how students could prevent bullying.
Other grades at Henderson engaged in the event by making anti-bullying paper hands and mini t-shirts, which were used to decorate the bulletin board. By the end of the event, the team raised roughly $230 by selling pink bracelets through a 2-week campaign. They chose to donate the proceeds to the Canadian Mental Health Association.
"People were very engaged. They were following along with what was happening and showed a lot of support for our anti-bullying initiative," says Boneham. "We received feedback from teachers that it is the best anti-bullying assembly event in school history."
These sentiments were echoed by the school's office staff.
"The bulletin board is right outside the staff office and it's the focal point of the school. It sends out a powerful message that we have zero tolerance for bullying." says Jun Yee, who is a student support worker at Henderson.