This week is National Bullying Awareness Week, a time that has a group of Rutland Senior Secondary (RSS) students – like many – reflecting on how they’ve been impacted by bullying.
They can’t go back in time and support themselves through the torment they endured in their earlier years, so instead they’re spending time sharing valuable life lessons with their younger peers.
For 16-year-old Bethany Kover, middle school was a dark time.
“I didn’t have very many friends to support me,” said Kover. “I struggled with anxiety and depression at one point.”
The grade 11 student has finally found a way to heal and is now helping younger peers deal with similar issues.
She was one of about 20 RSS students taking part in Beyond the Hurt Tuesday, a Canadian Red Cross Program.
Students mentor their younger peers and act as anti-bullying facilitators.
Volunteers have reached about 40,000 students around B.C. with the program.
“Instead of us going in and doing that education or teachers taking it on, we have motivated young people who have a lot of experience in the issues actually doing that peer to peer education,” said Meghan Toal with the Canadian Red Cross.
The high school students are spreading the message that it’s important to get toxic people out of their lives, that they’re not alone and to seek out help.
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