Anti-bullying activities planned

A campaign against bullying will feature numerous events and activities in February as well as some ongoing events.

A campaign against bullying will feature numerous events and activities in February as well as some ongoing events.

Linda Van Alphen of Summerland Bully Free said organizers are working on several initiatives for next year’s event.

In February this year, events included Pink Shirt Day, a locally produced video, seminars and the showing of a documentary about the effects of bullying.

Van Alphen said promotion of the anti-bully message is continuing.

The committee has joined with Stop A Bully, a national reporting service for schools.

This initiative was started by teachers at Summerland Secondary School and is in use by school across Canada.

Pink wrist bands, with the Stop A Bully website and the Summerland Bully Free logo are now being circulated.

Organizers are also working to have signs with an anti-bullying message around the community.

For 2014, Pink Shirt Day will be on Feb. 24.

Organizers are discussing a follow-up video to this year’s anti-bullying video.

Events will continue later in the year, Van Alphen said.

Organizers are working to have an art exhibit with an anti-bullying theme during Arts and Culture Week, April 17 to May 3. Organizers also want to bring in a guest speaker with an anti-bullying message for Me to We Day in mid-April.

Me to We Day, an initiative to promote accepting diversity for middle school and high school students, will feature events at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton.

Van Alphen said organizers would also like to bring a restorative justice program back in Summerland.

This program, through the provincial Attorney General, brings offenders and victims of crime together.

In addition to the school-based events and initiatives with a focus on youth, Van Alphen said other items are also being considered.

Organizers hope to co-host a Philosophers’ Cafe community discussion session and organize a bully-free workzone program.

“There are a lot of things which can be done to lift up our community,” Van Alphen said.