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Grade 8 students at Banff Elementary School host anti-bullying workshops

“I want to teach the children that bullying’s not a good thing, that we should stop and help if someone’s getting bullied.”

BANFF – From verbal and physical to cyber and social – students in Banff were switching roles with teachers last week as they presented anti-bullying workshops.

Isa Sander’s kindergarten class was among one of the first to receive the anti-bullying workshops put together by Grade 8s at Banff Elementary School (BES) last Tuesday (Jan. 28), which both explain bullying and how to deal with it.

Four Grade 8 students, Chloe Milne, Talia Boehnisch, Jana Delos Santos and Chelsea Dela Pena, presented two separate video projects to the kindergarten class, which included both an example of bullying and then a way said bullying was dealt with.

“My sister got bullied before and I want to stick up for her and others,” said Delos Santos. 

“She was called fat, and monster, so I want to stop bullying for her.”

It was a sentiment echoed by her presentation partner, Dela Pena.

“I want to teach the children that bullying’s not a good thing, that we should stop and help if someone’s getting bullied,” added Dela Pena. 

The presentations started with a question to the young audience; ‘what do you think bullying is?’

“Bullying is when you’re bad to someone,” one kindergartner said, other hands waving eagerly behind him.

“Bullying is when someone takes your jacket and says mean things to you,” chimed in another.

“It can feel frustrating,” added another student.

Both presentations finished with a question period surrounding the video and actions students can take if they know someone being bullied, or are being bullied themselves. The initiative is an example of real life learning, explained BES principal Debbie McKibbon.

“This came about from the Grade 8 team, the teachers designed this project to create a project where it was meaningful, worthwhile work,” she said.

“A cross-curricular connections for students. Students have really taken it to heart because they’re doing something very meaningful, and important, it’s really important work. We want our school to be a safe and caring place, and so do our Grade 8s, so they were very motivated.”

McKibbon said the students used technology skills, language art skills, speaking skills, as well as their health and wellness skills.

“Fortunately we haven’t had any serious incidents with cyber bullying, thank goodness, and I think its important for students to be aware,” said McKibbon.

“Through this they’ve learned – human nature lends itself to doing things online that you would never do face to face, so it’s recognizing that being online means they need to be using their digital citizenship skills … so that was incorporated in this project as well.”


About the Author: Alana MacLeod

Alana MacLeod is a reporter for the Rocky Mountain Outlook. Previously, she worked for Global News Toronto as a news producer and writer. Follow her on Twitter: @Lans_macleod
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