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Meadowridge students 'Speak Out Against Bullying'

Jessica Jacob of Meadowridge School  has organized a conference about bullying for the second year in a row.  - Colleen Flanagan/The News
Jessica Jacob of Meadowridge School has organized a conference about bullying for the second year in a row.
— image credit: Colleen Flanagan/The News

Last year for Pink Shirt Day, Jessica Jacob of Meadowridge School organized a conference about bullying.

The Grade 11 student is doing it again this year, but with less emphasis on the guest speakers, and more on those who take part.

Last year, she said the 75 kids who were in the conference surprised her with their candor.

“I really didn’t know how it would go,” she admits.

But as she listened to her peers, she heard valid points – a frank discussion of issues and personal experiences shared.

“I found it very inspiring and hopeful.”

This year, has two speakers lined up to frame the discussion.

Dave Jonsson is a plane crash survivor with “a really inspiring life story.”

Marcia Harrison, the Kids Help Phone regional director for B.C. and the Yukon, will be back again after helping to kick off last year’s event.

After the speakers, she will break the crowd into smaller discussion groups.

“My goal is to have students come to the school and it be a discussion forum,” said Jacob. “I want to have students share their experiences, and have a safe place to talk with others.”

She sees more people becoming aware of bullying issues, but said parents still need to learn about the harassment their children can face online. Eventually, she hopes people will be more conscious of their behaviour and how it affects others, rather than focusing on bullying just during Pink Shirt Day.

• The event will be held on March 7, at the school at 12224 – 240 Street, Maple Ridge.

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