Lake City secondary school students inspired to be leaders

Lake City secondary school student Cade Enns said the things he learned at a bullying workshop are meaningful for the entire community.

  • Sep. 19, 2013 8:00 a.m.

Lake City secondary school student Cade Enns sees the things he learned at a bullying workshop this week being meaningful for the entire community of Williams Lake.

“The workshop gave me inspiration to do things at my school and others schools,” the Grade 7 Enns said. “I just want to inspire other people to have a great community. I can see it going out and helping people everywhere.”

Facilitators Michael Lorsch and Amanda Wand are with the Toronto-based organization Me to We.

They developed the bullying program because whenever Lorsch and Wand were conducting leadership workshops, youth were asking about bullying and if they had any programs.

“We eventually crafted a program that really looked at bullying and that’s the one we ran here – it’s called Stand Up,” Lorsch said.

Grade 12 student Robbie Jacques learned some leadership tools and said this will be his first year being involved with leadership in his school.

“I think it’s interesting how it’s more about self-esteem and the actual individual than it is about the bully,” Jacques said.

Echoing Jacques, Grade 12 student Annie Blois suggested bullying is all around.

“Because it’s in our world, and we can’t take it out of our world, we have to encourage people because bullies are the most insecure,” Blois said. People who are being bullied need encouragement too, she added.

It’s Grade 11 student Cassidy Landry’s first year doing leadership in the school and after taking the workshop said she’s excited to make a difference.

“I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but this is the first year that I’m actually putting myself out there to do this,” Landry said.

One of the biggest challenges will be the bullying taking place already because of the new school configuration, she said.

“There’s always been that hate between the two schools and I think that should just leave.”

Grade 11 student Stephanie Warnock, also tackling leadership for the first year, has witnessed bullying.

“I’ve watched it, I’ve been there,” she said.

For Grade 9 student Carrie Lange, the first few weeks of school have displayed some tension because students are trying to determine different groups at the Carson campus, which is predominantly grades 7 through 9.

Lange said she looks forward to creating positive impacts from what she gleaned during the two days.

“I want to try and get everyone involved in the school and try and get rid of all that mean stuff that I don’t want to see around.”

Seerat Gidda has been bullied racially and through social media and knows what it feels like.

“I want to prevent that from happening to other people because I don’t want other people to feel that way,” Gidda said.

At the end of the workshop Lorsch told participants the students had set the tone right.

The stop in Williams Lake was the launch of a month-long tour of the Me to We workshop in schools around B.C.

Lorsch and Wand said the group in Williams Lake was incredible and some of the “top” students that they’ve ever worked with.

“They were so engaged and so interested, there wasn’t any point in time when someone wasn’t listening and paying attention,” Wand said. “They truly want to make a difference, you could tell from the get go.”

School district fully behind ERASE program

The Safe Schools branch of the Ministry of Education has been promoting the ERASE (Expect Respect and a Safe Education) program for the past two years.  Stand Up was offered  as a pilot project to interested school districts to provide a student focused approach to address the issue of bullying that complements the ERASE strategy that all schools in all school districts are currently working on, said Jan Fichtner, District Vice Principal for Healthy Schools and Healthy Students.

“In the upcoming year SD #27 will be hosting a second regional training session for the  ERASE program and SD #28 Quesnel and SD #49 Bella Coola will be joining us,” Fichtner said.

Experienced presenters will be facilitating a three-day workshop and providing information and resources to representatives from all elementary and secondary schools, First Nations and Independent Schools as well as community partners including RCMP, MCFD and Child and Youth Mental Health.

Additionally, schools will be continuing to work on refining protocols and strategies to build a positive, safe and inclusive school culture.

Jan Fichtner, District Vice Principal for Healthy Schools and Healthy Students, said bullying is always a topic of concern for staff, students and parents.

“We recognize the need to develop a safe and supportive school culture where we raise the awareness and lower the risk and frequency of bullying in schools.”

But rather than just focusing on bullying, the district works on the broader and more positive perspective of working together to learn to build healthy relationships, manage conflict effectively and empowering youth with skills in communication, teamwork and advocacy for each other.

“Our goal — to build a positive, safe and inclusive school community,” Fichner said.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health has issued an overdose alert for 100 Mile House.
Interior Health issues overdose alert for 100 Mile House

Health officials encourage users to be careful and spread the word.

Mclean Silverton rides a rail in Boitanio Park - one of seven new features installed by the city this past week. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Snow park in Boitanio open for riding

If any users find that the park requires attention, please contact city hall at 250-392-2311

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) co-ordinator Surinderpal Rathor (from left) Judy Gibbons and Rajneesh Khugsal, seen here in 2020, are all ready to help people file their taxes. (Patrick Davies photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake volunteers ready to offer community income tax program

Co-ordinator Surinderpal Rathor said he has already received inquiries

Women’s Contact Society community liaison Eileen Alberton with her dogs Luigi, left, and Sami enjoys a daily walk in Big Lake. (Photo submitted)
Women’s wellness focus of International Women’s Day events in Williams Lake

In its third year, the event will be offered virtually

A snowfall warning has been issued for Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Black Press Media)
Snowfall warning issued for Cariboo region

Between 10 to 15 cm expected

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

Most Read