Marymount Students Learn to “Take a Stand”
On Tuesday, September 27, all grade 7 and 8 students at Marymount Academy were given a message- “Stand up for yourself!” As simple as it seems, this message was delivered with a powerful presentation. Through the efforts of Constable Victor Leroux, School and Police Liaison, Crime Prevention Officer Denise Fraser, and Vice Principal Lori Holden, the grade 7 and 8 students learned the harsh realities of bullying – from the perspectives of the bully and the victim. Whether it is called bullying, harassment, assault etc, the girls learned that it all starts with intent. As long intent can be proven, the students are now of an age where there are much harsher consequences for these crimes. “This is why it is so important to stand up for yourselves.” Denise Fraser stated when speaking to the students. She went on to inform the students that there is always someone to turn to when you feel bullied – whether it be a parent, relative, friend, teacher – talking to someone you trust is the first step in getting help -and by doing this – you are taking a stand. On the flip side, Fraser spoke to the different actions that would be considered bullying, as in each bullying situation, there is always intent, repeat of actions and the wanting of power. “Through the use of words, (verbal, written or electronic) and actions, the act of bullying,” Fraser said, “is a crime that you can be charged with now at your age.” As well, the girls learned that standing aside and doing nothing when witnessing bullying is also a huge part of the problem.
Lori Holden knew that this presentation was one that her students needed to hear. “We always want to encourage respectful relationships and equity and inclusivity at Marymount Academy,” Holden stated. “This presentation informs our students of the consequences of bullying, and allows them to focus on making the right decisions and positive choices in their lives.”