Monday, November 4, 2013

Governor's Anti-Bullying Summit

Governor’s Anti-Bullying Summit

Today, I joined fellow colleagues, our fearless leader, Mr. Pedersen, and about 20 students from the amazing Cardinal Community School District for the Governor’s Anti-Bullying Summit.  If you recall the Fourth Grade Bully Busters submitted a video for the Governor’s Anti-Bullying Video Contest early last month.  Today was the day we learned the results of that contest.

The speakers at the conference were powerful, and motivating.  There were many great points made about bullying and how we must all stand up to help prevent this type of behavior in our schools.  I loved the quote,  “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent.” This was a quote by Martin Luther King Jr., and it is every bit applicable today, as it was when he stood up, for the oppression individuals faced in our country not so long ago. 

Nobody wants to be labeled a bully, but we all have the power to be one or to stand against one. It does not matter who you are or where you come from it is something we must all realize is subjective experience.  Just as we are all different people, we also handle bullying in a different way. There may be some who see the same incident as bullying and others who will see it as irrelevant. Therefore, we must teach our kids to not only be themselves, but they must also allow others to be who they are.  Tolerance is a giant step in the right direction.

We heard moving speeches from victims of bullying, a parent of a child who was killed through violence, and an amazing singer/songwriter from Boston. The singer started performing during her 7th grade year, and performs all over the country.  She is now a high school student, and delivers her message using the voice God gave her. The stories and panels were very good about answering questions and making us all feel like a part of “the story.”

Admittedly, my most exciting moment of the day was seeing our 4th grade video being played on the big screen for all the schools and attendees. We were in the top ten finalists. I cannot put into words the swell of love, respect and pride I had for my kids in that moment. They worked so incredibly hard on this video project, and are still carrying the bully buster message on daily.  We were not one of the top three winners, but we definitely won so much more than the title today.

In fact, I was approached by a few of our high school attendees because they would like to develop a program infusing the older kids into the elementary as leaders. They want to reach out and help create a positive environment for our younger students. The high school leaders would like to give the elementary students problem-solving skills so they can better cope in a bully type situation.  So, in my book we won today. We were victorious because we brought back more than a certificate of accomplishment. We are coming back empowered, driven and motivated to be the change.

I am so blessed to be part of such an energized, positive and wonderful community! WAY TO GO CARDINAL BULLY BUSTERS!!!!!!!!!!!