School bullying is a type of bullying that occurs in connection with education, either inside or outside of school. Bullying can be physical, verbal, or emotional and is usually repeated over a period of time. Anti-bullying programs are designed to teach students cooperation, as well as training peer moderators in intervention and dispute resolution techniques, as a form of peer support.
On Tuesday, March 22, 2011, Ambergris Today was invited to go and witness a great activity for Anti-bullying that took part at the Ambergris Caye Elementary (ACES). The guest speaker was a sweet lady from British Colombia, Canada named Mrs. Elizabeth Hamill and this is what she had to share with us about her magnificent day.
“The afternoon started with the excitement of something new happening at their school. The children listened closely as I talked about the movement in Canada regarding bullies. Hands shot up when questions were asked about what a bully was. The children described situations and how they felt when it was happening. You can tell the staff of the school has talked about situations and how to avoid them. Children need to hear what bullying is and who to talk to when it occurs. They now know to go to their parents, family members, teachers whom they trust.
Elizabeth talked about a situation on You-Tube where the victim fought back. Is it right or wrong? The children were divided as to supporting the victim.
“We had an excellent conversation that gave them food for thought. If the victim fought back would they become the bully? Would the situation end there? My feeling is they need to talk about the situation to an adult they trust and let the adult intervene. Don’t keep the harassment to yourself as it has potential to grow. Everyone should feel safe at school and in their community.”
“At our school in (formally known as ACE) we have been celebrating Anti-Bullying Day for the last 4 years,” continued Elizabeth. “We tie dye in brilliant pink and promote respecting others for their differences. Truly, that is the message. Everyone has different gifts to offer and sometimes we have to look more closely to see/hear what their gifts are. The children tie dyed their T-shirts, sang their national anthem (which was beautiful as they gave me a couple of rounds), received the bookmarks the students of Bakerview, Live and Learn Program (teacher Jodi Coleman) made and enjoyed the candy necklaces that signified our new friendship. Before I knew it our shared time was over. But then again I think it was a new beginning of my friendship with San Pedro and ACES.”
“I do want to acknowledge Jan Brown for coming to my rescue for large containers to hold the hot water to do the dye. All in all, my visit will be landmarked by my visit to ACES. The teacher supplies my friends, colleagues were able to supply and the warmth of the children that are continually looking for in their educational growth. Thank you San Pedro and Ms. Dianne for your hospitality!”