Tara grew up with brothers who she saw only infrequently because they all lived in different foster homes. She had such a desire to be like them and spend time with them, that she began to dress and act like them. Sadly, this made Tara different at her school and she began to get bullied. Within months, this formerly easy going child became angry, resentful and scared, and she pushed back. The result of the pain inflicted on her was a need to lash out and do the same to others. Gratefully, Tara had someone to help her understand and resolve the emotions she had been dealing with. Her Big Sister patiently encouraged Tara to consider the reasons why people become bullies and the things a bullied child can do to keep themselves emotionally and physically safe.
There is no easy answer to the prevention of bullying in our schools and communities, but it does start with us. With one child, one parent who leads by example, one community that stands up together to defend and honour the rights of every young person to be themselves; wholly accepted and valued individuals.
At Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters, we are honoured to stand beside our community’s children and leaders today, February 26th, 2014, to loudly say that bullying hurts and it has to stop. Please join us at West Edmonton Mall’s Newcap Stage at 4:15 for a free concert presented by London Drugs featuring Edmonton’s own Juno nominated musical group, The Command Sisters. Hosted by CFCW’s AJ Keller, we will be visited by Edmonton City Councillors Bev Esslinger and Michael Oshry with greetings from the City and a special announcement from the Mayor’s office. Former delegate for Canada to Miss Universe, Chelsey Smith will also share her story and former Edmonton Eskimo and member of the winning Grey Cup Saskatchewan Roughriders, Graeme Bell will be on hand for photos and autographs.
Don’t have a pink shirt yet? There may be a few new ones that have just arrived at the WEM London Drugs. $9.80 each with the proceeds going to Boys & Girls Clubs. Our sincere thanks for the support of our community in bringing attention to this important subject.