Last Friday local schools decided to Speak Up, Stand Together to Stop Bullying. At Mount Hutt College every student and staff member was offered a sticker to place on an electronic device to remind ourselves to be kind to others, whether it’s face to face or behind a screen.
Some of the stickers had quotes such as “don’t be mean behind the screen”, “Grandma’s Watching”, “Not in our town”, “Think Before You Text”, to name just a few. This initiative was funded by Mount Hutt College and Think First (Safer Ashburton), as they understand the value in standing up to online issues in our community. Both Methven Primary School and Our Lady of the Snows had mufti days to support Pink Shirt day, raising awareness in our younger children; educating them on social issues while supporting them to make good decisions.
Pink Shirt Day is not new but it is building momentum locally and we want to see our town get in behind this initiative and create a friendlier and safer environment for all its community – not just one day a year but all 365. To follow the sticker that states: “not in our town” and by not accepting this harmful behaviour, we need to work as a team and be vigilant for change.
Unlike the ‘good ole days’ when the bully was sorted out in the playground or local hangout, there is much more going on behind the screen than many realise. It is very difficult to trace the culprits who use fake accounts or apps such as snapchat. Being able to ‘air drop’ information is something I have learnt about this week and can all seem rather innocent to the unknown.
What else can we do to reduce negative behaviour in our community? Speak Up, Stand Together and Stop Bullying! It is that simple so let’s choose to live by it every day.
Sarra and Tyler said, “Everyone standing up for themselves and getting along with others, helps to make a safer community to stand up to bullies.”
Listen to those who are reaching out for help, support them to get results and if you don’t have the answer find someone who can help. I have listed some services below where you can get support for you and your family, so check them out:
Youthline provides information for youth by youth and is a free and anonymous service that young people can access by either free text to 234 or phoning 0800 37 66 33
Visit the Think First website or their facebook page