Taking down bullying

Jared Monkman/NNSL photo Sarayah Larsen writes out invitations for her class' big announcement last Friday at Chief Sunrise Education Centre.

Jared Monkman/NNSL photo
Sarayah Larsen writes out invitations for her class’ big announcement last Friday at Chief Sunrise Education Centre.

In a series of events wrapped in mystery, a kindergarten class at Chief Sunrise Education Centre has announced that it will be tackling the problem of bullying head on.

“We made a music video. It is about standing up to bullies. It is called “Sets’ani: Be A Friend,” reads a press release prepared by the students in Ashley Beck’s class. “We are going to put our music video on You Tube. We want to show the whole world how to be a friend and how to stand up to bullies. We want to be famous.”

The students will be hosting an official launch party for the music video on Friday at noon at the school, something Beck said was important for the effort. There, they will also be signing autographs and answering questions from the public.

“We really want the kids to see their hard work being celebrated,” she said. “We want them to know that what they have to say is important and that their community is listening.”

The children, who refused to divulge any details regarding the music video itself, said that the best part of the process was singing and dancing.

“We’re going to do autographs,” said Mackenzie Hunkin. “And be famous.”

Beck said the project stemmed from a grant from the Department of Education, Culture, and Employment, meant to help create safe and caring schools.

The idea was to move beyond simply not being a bully and look at how to effectively stand up to bullies. With help and their own experiences, the children came up with the three key points they wanted to hammer home: Be there for your friends, use a Friendly voice, and Find a solution to the problem, or BFF, the commonly used acronym for best friends for ever.

“We knew we wanted this to be exciting and empowering for our kids,” said Beck. “From here the plan is to take the video to other schools where our students will teach their peers how to use the BFF strategy.”

-Sarah Ladik