LETHBRIDGE – Students at Mike Mountain Horse Elementary School were treated to a musical performance with a message Monday. The ‘No Time For That’ tour made a stop in Lethbridge to empower students to stop the cycle of bullying. Speaker Elsie Morden said it’s a message that started from personal experiences.
“I put together my stories and my experiences of what I went through at school in terms of bullying and going through depression, and the songs that I’ve written about it,” Morden said. “I put together a 45-minute presentation, and I started (to) email local schools in my rural Manitoba area. Since then I have now been to over 400 schools across Canada.”
Morden travels the country with her team that includes her father and her two younger sisters. They adapt the presentation based on ages of the students and she said it’s important for elementary-aged kids to learn, and be aware of the effects of bullying early.
“Bullying starts in elementary. It started for me, and it’ll start for them,” Morden said.
Morden’s father, Ken Byrka, said the methods of bullying have, like many things, moved to the online world and that parents need to pay more attention.
“As a parent I kind of assumed it was alright, and there was a lot of things going on that I probably should’ve been much more cognizant of and involved in,” Morden said. “That’s sort of where it starts I think, just talking to your kids about it and being aware of what their doing online.”
Morden’s main message to the students? Continue to be yourself.
“Surround yourself with those people who are going to support your dreams. People who accept you for who you are,” Morden said. “I think it’s really important to just not let people or things bring you down.”