At BIS Secondary Campus the student wellbeing team and student council work in partnership to help ensure our community creates effective conditions for all to flourish. The 2019 Anti-Bullying Campaign forms a fundamental part of the students’ commitment to ensuring our community is characterised by positive relationships based on mutual respect.
Compared to many high schools, the number of students at BIS who have experienced bullying - of any type - is relatively low. However, the wellbeing team are passionate about ensuring this number is reduced even further: “We believe that as a community we can do even better to improve upon the number of students experiencing bullying and ensure that everyone, not just the majority, feels safe and welcomed at school.”
A key element of the Anti-Bullying Campaign is demonstrating to students how bullying can affect anyone. To help illustrate this, the wellbeing team asked teachers to share their Untold Stories about their personal experiences of bullying. The students then released these stories during the campaign launch assembly.
The team tells us more, “This allows students to see real life situations that have affected people they know and respect, as too many times bullying is presented as an abstract concept and not a real life problem that happens to people we know.”
The Untold Stories all presented a common feature: a lack of respect. The wellbeing team called on the students to respect each other’s differences: “Instead of making fun of those with under-appreciated attributes, shouldn’t we embrace the differences that make each and every one of us unique? If for any reason we have an issue with someone is it not easier to respect and otherwise leave them alone? Choose to be a better person and respect their differences.” This sentiment was supported by the showing of Anti-Bullying Alliance's video entitled 'Choose Respect':
Over the past few years, the wellbeing team have been encouraging students and teachers alike to step forward and share their stories. Although this is important, the emphasis for this year’s campaign is slightly different:
“Today our main message is not to people who bully others or those who have been subjected to bullying, it is to all of us as a student community. We can all be upstanders not bystanders, if we are proactive not reactive. We can intervene before a situation escalates. Intervening doesn’t have to be something big. It can be a small act of simply having a friendly conversation with someone. You could talk about your own experiences to let them know that they’re not alone because in the end, it all comes down to having someone who has your back. So from today onwards we encourage you all to Stop, Speak and Support:
STOP the situation before it gets worse,
SPEAK out for those in need and;
SUPPORT each other.
If we pledge to stop, speak and support we can make our school community the best it can be and the key word here is we. It’s up to all of us to make our community the best it can be.”
“It is amazing to see the commitment and determination our students have to ensure wellbeing is at the heart of all aspects of school life," explains Sean O’Neill, Secondary Deputy Head Teacher. He goes on to say, "The Anti-Bullying Campaign is another example of how our students bring their talent, energy and enthusiasm to this crucial area.”
The launch of the campaign this week will be followed by a series of form-time activities led by the Wellbeing Prefect Team. We will soon be sharing details of these as well as more of the exciting developments in our effort to promote student leadership and wellbeing at BIS HCMC.
STOP, SPEAK, SUPPORT.