FOR club spreads anti-bullying message | DrumhellerMail
Last updateFri, 19 Apr 2024 5pm

FOR club spreads anti-bullying message

    Grade 12 students of the Friends of Rachel (FOR) club from Drumheller Valley Secondary School shared their anti-bullying message to the Grade 4, 5, and 6 classes of Greentree School.
    FOR started in memory of Rachel Scott, the first victim of the Columbine shooting. Her diaries and notes became the basis for an organization that aims to create a safe learning environment free of bullying and inspire everyone to make a permanent and positive change in their school.
    The FOR club began at DVSS when Shannon Kean, a student at DVSS, attended Connections Camp near Calgary this past summer. The camp helps foster leadership in schools.
    “It helps to cut down racism and bullying,” said Kean. As part of the camp, participants had to organize a leadership activity at their school.
    Kean chose to invite a FOR group to give a presentation to the school. Afterwards, Kean and fellow students started their own FOR club with the support of DVSS teachers Lynn Hemming and Cindy Karpa.
    Members of the club participate in a large number of activities, including welcoming new students, giving away gift cards to promote kindness, escorting seniors during the Remembrance Day ceremonies, and helping kids in need.
    The club has also given presentations to junior high students about prevention of bullying and counselling  to students who are being bullied. Members of the club are not afraid to confront the bullies themselves and help them change.
    “We help cut down bullying and set a good example,” said Kean.
    The FOR club spoke withstudents from Greentree School and shared their experiences and insights into how bullying can harm a person for life, how it can be prevented, and promote kindness.
    Melissa MacKinnon, a DVSS student, told her moving story of her ordeal with a pack of bullies when she was in Grade 9.
     “There was a group of Grade 12 girls that would pick on me,” said MacKinnon. “They would find me in the hallways just to make fun of me, push me, or say some rude names.
    “It was brutal,” continued MacKinnon. “It hurts to be made fun of and that happened to me everyday.”
    After the presentation the Greentree students were given a chance to ask the FOR members questions about junior and senior high school, and bullying.
    The FOR club will continue to promote kindness amongst their peers through a random acts of kindness week.
    “They’re very good role models,” said Hemming. “I’m very proud of what we’re doing.”

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