The Student Journalism Project amplifies student voice through learner-authored articles that highlight classroom, school or community initiatives, remarkable achievements, current events, or bring a local angle to a global issue. This week’s feature looks at board-wide anti-bullying approaches through one school’s inspiring assembly.
|Above: Author Breanne Pike shows off some of the books the school received as part of the Huddle Up program.|
Student Journalism Spotlight:
Huddling Up to Take a Stand Against Bullying
BY BREANNE PIKE
BURFORD DISTRICT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
TUESDAY, JUNE 6, 2023
ime to huddle up and do something about bullying.
That was the message students at Burford District Elementary School got recently during an assembly where we spoke virtually to Boris Bede, a player from the Toronto Argonauts football team. Boris shared his journey as a football player for the Argos, and how he became a football player in the first place. It all started when he lived as a kid in Toulon, France. At that time, he liked to play soccer. As you know if you play soccer, you will always have a good kick. One day when Boris was kicking the ball around, he got offered a scholarship to be on a football team as the kicker, also known as a punter. He was offered the spot as a kicker because he had such a strong kick from playing soccer, and that made him have really good aim. In football, that makes it easier to get a field goal. That was what led Boris to play for the Toronto Argos.
|Above: Grade 6/7 students were joined virtually by Argo player Boris Bede.|
Also joining Boris during the assembly was someone who works for the Toronto Argos, Jason Colero. Jason shared that, as a kid, he was always the shortest in his class, and he got bullied because of that. Kids would tease him and call him names, and it didn’t make school very fun. When Jason got to high school, he wanted to try out for the football team, but once again, he was the shortest on the team, so it was hard for him. He changed his routine to avoid the other players, but one day, someone removed his clothes and personal items from his locker. That didn’t make him feel very good. Another time, a couple kids from the football team chased him all the way into the gym. Once they got to the gym, this one guy, a teammate named Mark, took a stand. He stood beside Jason and told the others what they were doing was wrong. That’s when the bullying stopped.
So then when he grew up, Jason reached out to the Argos and got a job working for them. His job now is to share this important message about bullying prevention, and he and the Argos players speak with students about why it’s so important. The Toronto Argonauts have worked with other professional sports teams and Canadian organizations on bullying prevention so that schools can learn about racism, discrimination and bullying awareness. It’s called the Huddle Up program.
The Huddle Up program also provided our school with books so we can continue learning about how to prevent bullying. It was a great day with an important message to take a stand against bullying.
About the Author
Breanne Pike is a Grade 6 student at Burford District Elementary School. She writes about classroom and school-wide events, projects and activities, with a focus on learning, leading and inspiring.