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Hyacks teammates share anti-bullying message

Feb. 22, 2017  – When it comes to tug-of-war, it’s pretty tough for one lone middle school student to triumph over the power of grade 11 Hyacks football player Lucas Sabau, a 7-year-veteran of the game.

Unless some of the other middle school students step in to help.

And that’s exactly what happened on Pink Shirt Day at Queensborough Middle School Wednesday.

Standing together…

Four Hyacks football players from New Westminster Secondary School – Juan Cespedes, Patrick McManus, Nathaniel Saenz, and Lucas Sabau – came to share a message to a packed gymnasium of grade 5,6,7 and 8 students about getting help, speaking up and working together to stop bullying.

The four teammates acted out their message in a skit in which one of the team was bullied for wearing pink and a friend decided to wear pink too. The tug-of-war contest was a graphic demonstration for everyone to see what the power of standing together can mean.

As Juan Cespedes told the students, “I have seen my friends bullying others. You don’t know what bullying is going to do to a person. You need to tell your friend to stop.  If you are bullied, you can talk to a trusted adult – a teacher, your parents, the principal.  It’s a big issue.”

And, as Patrick McManus advised, “just because it’s a problem doesn’t mean it will always be a problem.  Talk it out,” he said.

Bullying comes in many forms…

Const. Lau 640Constable Gerald Lau is the city’s police liaison officer with New Westminster Schools’ elementary and middle schools. His role includes educating youth on safety issues, from stranger danger to internet safety and social media awareness.

Const. Lau explained to the students that bullying can take many forms – from verbal bullying to cyberbullying.  He reminded students that everybody is unique and has something special to offer.  “If you see somebody being bullied, do something about it.  Make your school, your community a better place. ”

School principal Lisa Nasato emphasized the theme of “Making Nice” for this year’s 10th Annual Pink Shirt Day, telling students that words are powerful and can do good or harm.  “A good place to start is to think before we speak.  Choose your words wisely,” she said.

 

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