Director's Blog

This week we have been highlighting Bullying Free Week - culminating today in Pink Shirt Day! - and our Head Prefects have been providing us with extra special reminders each morning. I was particularly struck by this morning’s email from them – 
 
As we all know today is Pink Shirt Day! It’s all about working together to stop bullying by celebrating diversity and promoting positive social relationships. It’s about creating a community where all people feel safe, valued and respected, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, or cultural background.    

It is apparent that, in this world where we are able to access information from such rich, varied but often un-regulated sources, we are seeing and hearing more and more negative, hurtful, demeaning, undermining, derisive and belittling language being used and comments being made by some very high profile people with access to media platforms. The impact of YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and other instant and worldwide platforms has given people the freedom to say/post what they like and this has exposed some worrying undercurrents of attitudes and behaviour from online users, young and old, rich and poor, educated and not so fortunate. Inevitably, this trickles down into everyday life so as a staff we want to focus our community’s attention on the words we use to speak to one another at all times. Mocking, criticising, making fun of, sneering at someone who is less able/more able/just different to you is often dismissed as ‘only joking’ or ‘banter’ but it is not that to the recipient.  ‘A broken bone can heal, but the wound a word opens can fester forever.’ Jessamyn West.    

Sadly, the human condition is inclined to be readily able to recount our faults until we have pages of them, but when asked to state what we are good at/feel is positive about ourselves we often struggle to articulate that. Given that there are plenty of people in the world ready to pounce on your innocent posting/sharing of an event, a photo or a thought dear to you and tear it to shreds, surely in our interactions with those closest to us we should be taking every opportunity to build one another up? ‘Kind words are a creative force, a power that concurs in the building up of all that is good, and energy that showers blessings upon the world’. Lawrence G. Lovasik.   

We can never know what is going on someone else’s life so why not just be kind? All the time? To everyone? On and offline? Be a bucket filler, not a bucket dipper and keep honking from behind!