Students from Cowessess, Ochapowace and Kahkewistahaw First Nations helped give a voice to victims of crime by standing up to bullying.
Approximately 60 Grade 3 and 4 students participated in a Stand up to Bullying event on Wednesday morning, in recognition of the 7th annual National Victims of Crime Awareness Week (April 22-28). The event was held in partnership by Parkland Victim Services and the Red Cross, and was supported by the Broadview RCMP.
“We wanted to focus on bullying and how it relates to victims of crime,” said Anita Vincent, aboriginal resource officer with Parkland Victim Services. “People who are victims of bullying are victims of crime and a lot of people don’t realize that.”
NVCAW is an opportunity to raise awareness about victim issues and the programs, services and laws in place to aid victims of crime and their families.
The Stand up to Bullying event gave students the opportunity to learn about bullying by asking questions, participating in a t-shirt decorating activity and by creating anti-bullying pledges for each respective school.
Students, instructors and event facilitators also donned pink t-shirts in support of the anti-bullying message.
Vincent said the event was targeted toward the elementary students because it is an issue that they are receptive of and experience, even at a young age.
“We thought the Grade 3 and 4s would take to it and it’s important to teach them early on to stand up to bullying,” she said.
Red Cross Outreach Coordinator Melanie Horton provided the students with an anti-bullying presentation; teaching students how to identify, prevent and report bullying in their schools.
“(Bullying) is affecting kids younger and younger, especially with technology these days,” she said following the presentation. “Kids grow up so much faster, so bullying starts happening earlier.”