In recognition of Anti-Bullying Day on February 28th, the RMS community wore pink. Pink symbolizes caring, tenderness, acceptance and calmness. National Pink Shirt Day was inspired by students from a high school in Halifax, NS. David Shepherd, Travis Price and their teenage friends organized a high-school protest to wear pink in sympathy for a Grade 9 boy who was being bullied for wearing a pink shirt. They took a stand against bullying when they protested against the harassment of this student by distributing pink t-shirts to all the boys in their school. For more information on this initiative, click here. This practice of not tolerating bullying has now become wide spread in schools, and at RMS as a community we are coming together to celebrate inclusiveness and acceptance of the things that make us unique, while connecting us at the same time. We are continuing to reinforce the positive messages of the WITS program that was introduced in the Fall of last year. The WITS program brings together schools, families and communities to create safe, responsive environments that help elementary school children deal with bullying. Our teachers are encouraged to review the messages of the WITS Anti-Bully Campaign, to talk about what acceptance looks like inside and outside of school, and to take pictures and to play fun games that engage students in creative role-play in the classroom, all while learning about bullying prevention.
At Rowntree Montessori Schools, bullying of any kind is not acceptable. We know that bullying is defined as repeated or habitual aggressive behaviour, abuse or intimidation of a person, because the person or persons bullying have more power or advantage (based on any number of factors such as size, status, age, being part of a group, abilities, or other attributes). We make sure that our students are very aware of why bullying is not acceptable, and we help our students understand what bullying is and what it is not. We make an effort to empower and encourage students to act responsibly to create a positive environment in our school and be proactive in stopping and reporting bullying should it occur. It is not just on Pink Day that we encourage anti-bullying. At RMS, we follow the WITS Anti-Bullying Program that includes many activities for students that reinforce the importance of making positive choices all year long. We encourage all teachers, administration and support staff to actively create a safe learning community where children can thrive and model behaviours that support tolerance, cooperation and understanding.
According to the Government of Canada, “all adults – including parents – should talk openly about bullying with the children in their care, and should be prepared to deal directly with any problems that arise, whether at school, among groups of friends, or in other social situations.” For more information on how to recognize signs of bullying and for tips on intervention, click here. For more information on preventing cyber bullying, click here and find out how to get “CyberSafe.”
To learn more about Rowntree Montessori Schools (RMS), continue browsing our website and ideally drop by any of our welcoming, friendly and family oriented campuses for a personal tour anytime Monday-Friday 9:30am-3:00pm. If you prefer, call to book an appointment for a personal tour anytime Monday-Friday 9:30am-3:00pm.